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Full text of "James Clyman, American Frontiersman, 1792-1881. The adventures of a trapper and covered wagon emigrant as told in his own reminiscences and diaries. Edited by Charles L. Camp. [With portraits and maps.]"

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Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 
in  2011 

Special  Publication  No.  3 

Bancroft  Ubrayy 

I    ^  «^^. 

tJU/H.£M/    ^^^^7^ 







edited  by 
Charles  L.  Camp 

San  Francisco 

California  Historical  Society 


Copyright  1928 

California  Historical  Society 



Foreword       -- 9 

Early  Days 11 

Colonel  James  Clyman's  Narrative  of  1823-24 13 

The  Arikara  fight  —  Escape  from  the  Indians  —  Grizzly  Bear 
attacks  Jedediah  Smith  —  The  Crows  —  Over  the  South 
Pass  —  Sublette's  narrow  escape  from  freezing  —  Green 
River  —  Indians  steal  the  horses  —  Clyman  separated  from 
the  company  —  Sets  out  for  the  Missouri  —  "Bearly  saved 
my  scalp  but  lost  my  hair." 

Discovery  of  South  Pass --38 

Edward  Rose 39 

Sketch  of  his  wild  career. 

Adventures  in  the  Rockies,  1824-27 43 

Back  with  Ashley  —  Fight  with  the  Arapaho  —  Clyman  cir- 
cumnavigates Great  Salt  Lake  in  a  skin  boat  —  An  escape 
^  from  the  Blackfeet. 

The  Black  Hawk  War 46 

Pioneering  in  Wisconsin     ----- 48 

Clyman  and  Ross  build  a  sawmill  —  Takes  up  land  in  Mil- 
waukee—  Escapes  from  the  Indians  on  Rock  River  —  EUs- 

vD  worth   Burnett   murdered  —  Storekeeping   and   surveying   in 

Illinois  —  Personal  appearance. 


I    ,  The  Emigrants  of  1844 51 

?  Black  Harris        --- _--53 

?  His   adventures   as   a   trapper  —  Acts   as   emigrant   guide  — 

Pathfinding  in  the  Cascade  Mountains  —  Informs  the  Mor- 
^  mom  of  Salt  Lake  —  Death. 

Clyman's  Diary,  1844-1845— 

Book  One     - ---59 

Book  Two -       74 

Book  Three  ----- 89 

Book  Four    ------------     105 

The  Oregon  Trail,  Independence  to  Little  Blue  River  —  Little 
Blue  to  mouth  of  the  Sweetwater  —  Red  Buttes  to  the  Blue 
Mountains  —  Valley  of  the  Willamette  —  Sketch  of  the  Ore- 
gon Trail  —  Description  of  Oregon  —  Report  written  for 
Elijah     White  —  The    Heddhtg  murder    documents  —  Poesy. 

Clyman's  Diary,  1845 — 

Book  Five 153 

Book  Six 168 

Book  Seven         _-__ 185 

The  Oregon-California  Trail  —  Directions  by  Joel  Walker  — 
Rogue  River  —  "The  female  was  taken  and  her  horse  taken 
from  her"  —  Klamath  River  —  Mount  Shasta  —  Sacramento 
Valley  —  Sears'  duel  with  an  Indian  —  Knight  and  Wolf  skill 

—  "Suitor's"  Fort  —  List  of  the  immigrants  —  Napa  Valley 

—  Yount,  Bale,  Ben  Kelsey  and  Mrs.  Kelsey  —  Gordon's 
Ranch  —  Fort  Sutter  to  Monterey  —  Larkin,  Townsend,  and 
Isaac  Graham  —  Monterey  to  Napa  —  California  and  the 
Calif ornians  —  Hunting  Grizzly  Bears  —  Condors  —  San 
Farncisco  in  1845  —  Description  of  California  —  "Remarks 
on  Bear  hunting"  —  News  of  Fremont. 

Clyman's  Diary,  1846 — 

Book  Eight 197 

Book  Nine 221 

Frimont  and  Castro  —  Clyman's  message  to  Fremont  —  Sal- 
vador VaUejo's  Ranch  —  Gordon's  and  Johnson's  Ranch  — 
Eastward  across  the  Sierra  —  "Lucky"  scalded  to  death  in 
the  boiling  spring  —  Ogden's  Lake  —  Fremont's  trail  —  Hast- 
ings' Cut-off  —  Great  Salt  Lake  —  Over  the  Wasatch  —  Down 
the  Platte  —  Meeting  the  emigrants,  Boggs,  Morin,  James 
F.  Reed  —  Mormons  on  the  trail  —  Caleb  Greenwood  — 

Overland  to  California  in  1848        - 236 

The  Mecombs'  —  The  immigrant  parties  —  Returning  Mor- 
mons bring  news  of  the  gold  discovery  —  Letter  from  the 
placers  —  A  frontier  wedding. 

Latter  Days - 241 

The  Sonoma  ranch  —  Loss  of  the  children  —  The  Napa  ranch 

—  Diary  written  in  eightieth  year  —  Death. 

James  Qyman's  Poetry 244 

Index      ----- 248 



Portrait  of  James  Clyman   - Opp.  Title 

Facsimileof  page  of  Clyman's  Diary  of  1845 176 

Portrait  of  Hannah  Clyman 0pp.  240 


Route  of  the  South  Pass  Exp>edition Opp.     38 

The  Oregon-California  Trail  in  1845 0pp.  152 

TheHasting'sCut-Offinl846 0pp.  212 


THE  Rocky  Mountain  trapper  has  taken  his  place  in  literature  as  a 
hero  of  adventure  and  romance.  He  is  the  offspring  of  Daniel 
Boone  and  the  Fenimore  Cooper  Leatherstockings,  and  has  only 
lately  become  associated  with  the  cowboy  and  the  wild,  two-gun  West- 
erner of  fiction  and  melodrama.  The  wraiths  of  legend  already  begin  to 
veil  his  dramatic  exploits,  and  his  characteristics  and  peculiarities  in 
modem  writings  are  made  to  fit  the  demands  of  tradition  and  the 

So  our  rough,  trapper  chivalry  is  perhaps  in  the  way  of  becoming  as 
mythical  as  that  of  King  Arthur  and  his  Knights  of  the  Round  Table 
of  which  it  may  some  day  be  made  a  counterpart.  Sober  history  has, 
however,  been  busy  with  these  western  chevaliers,  certainly  with  no 
conscious  effort  to  detract  from  the  romance  of  their  exploits  but  to 
discover  the  significance  of  their  achievements  in  the  wide  field  of 
western  expansion  and  the  march  of  empire  to  the  Pacific. 

In  this  light  the  few  available  contemporary  journals  and  the  more 
reliable  narratives  of  reminiscence  take  their  place  as  prime  sources. 
These  records  of  Clyman's  fall  into  this  class.  They  are  the  reminis- 
cences and  daily  journals  of  an  old  pioneer  who  has  been  suffered  to 
remain  in  obscurity.  They  are  epics  of  the  frontier;  a  stirring  com- 
mentary upon  the  swift  conquest  of  the  continent,  reflecting  the  spirit 
of  the  sturdy,  free-roving  trappers  and  emigrants  who  blazed  the  trails 
and  established  themselves  in  the  arcana  of  the  wilderness. 

The  assembling  of  these  papers  has  been  a  labor  of  joy.  It  started 
with  a  reading  of  Montgomery's  transcript  of  Qyman's  diaries  in  the 
Bancroft  Library  at  the  University  of  California.^  A  penciled  memo- 
randum in  this  manuscript  led  me  to  search  for  an  account  of  his 
trapping  experiences  in  the  Rockies  which,  it  is  said,  was  sent  to  the 
Milwaukee  Historical  Society.  Inquiry  failed  to  disclose  the  present 
location  of  this  narrative,  but  another  notebook  dealing  with  his  first 
year  in  the  mountains  was  found  in  the  Draper  Collection  in  the  Wis- 
consin Historical  Society.  A  copy  of  this  was  sent  to  me  along  with 
many  other  statements  relating  to  Clyman's  career. 

It  was  another  unexpected  pleasure  to  find  the  complete  set  of 
Clyman's  original  diaries,  written  in  nine  small  notebooks,  together 
with  a  batch  of  personal  papers  and  records  of  the  Black  Hawk  War, 
carefully  preserved  by  Clyman's  grandson,  Mr.  Wilber  Lamar  Tallman 
at  Napa.  These  documents  have  since  been  acquired  by  the  Hunt- 
ington Library  and  are  used  here  with  their  kind  permission. 

1  Richard  Tremaine  Montgomery,  editor  in  former  years  of  newspapers  in 
Napa   County,  secured   Clyman's  records  for  H.  H.  Bancroft,   who  pays  high 

tribute  to  them. 


A  number  of  persons  who  have  helped  bring  to  light  important 
sources  of  information  are  mentioned  in  the  notes  which  follow  and  in 
the  article  on  Qynian  which  appeared  in  the  Quarterly  of  the  California 
Historical  Society  from  1925  to  1927.  The  costs  of  publication  have 
been  very  generously  supplied  by  Mr.  Sidney  M.  Ehrman,  a  vice- 
president  and  director  of  this  Society. 

Clyman's  narratives  are  printed  here  without  change  except  for  the 
addition  of  supplementary  material.  They  include  a  remarkable  account 
of  the  discovery  of  the  South  Pass  in  the  spring  1824  and  are  perhaps 
the  only  records  written  from  the  viewpoint  of  an  old  mountain  man 
of  the  emigration  across  the  plains  in  the  'forties. 

His  style  is  simple  and  quaint,  rich  with  the  lore  of  the  plains  and 
mountains,  full  of  keen,  intelligent  observation  of  men  and  events.  It 
is  a  treat  to  find  an  occasional  long-forgotten  word  or  phrase  in  the 
parlance  of  the  trapper  or  the  old  Virginian  of  Revolutionary  days. 

Kindliness,  good  humor,  shrewd  common  sense,  innate  honesty  and 
cool  self-confidence  characterize  the  man.  He  was  never  harsh  in  his 
criticism  of  others  and  seldom  indulged  in  such  criticism.  He  shows 
none  of  that  tendency  to  exaggerate  his  own  exploits  which  is  too 
frequently  a  characteristic  of  personal  narratives,  especially  those  of 
the  frontier. 

EUs  tastes  were  poetic  and  literary,  in  strange  contrast  to  his  rough 
life,  his  meagre  schooling,  and  the  character  of  many  of  his  associates. 
He  gives  evidence  of  an  acquaintance  with  his  Byron,  Shakespeare, 
and  the  Bible,  and  he  wrote  a  curious,  homely  kind  of  poetry  in  his 
old  age. 

The  moving  force  in  his  career  was  an  intense  love  of  the  freedom 
of  the  wilderness.  He,  and  probably  his  father  before  him,  t)T)ified 
that  class  of  borderers  who  were  never  satisfied  with  a  patch  of  land 
if  there  was  a  chance  of  finding  something  better  a  thousand  or  three 
thousand  miles  farther  on.  He  wandered  restlessly  for  forty-one  years 
over  the  breadth  of  the  continent  and  into  the  farthest  recesses  of  the 
mountains,  carrying  with  him  an  intimate  knowledge  of  the  geography 
of  the  regions  he  explored.  His  marriage  in  1849  saw  the  end  of  this 
nomadism  and  he  gave  up  his  last  thirty  years  to  unremitting  toil  upon 
his  California  farm. 

He  outlived  his  times  completely.  Scarcely  one  of  his  moimtain 
comrades  survived  him.  Trails  that  he  found  across  the  mountains 
were  now  traversed  by  highways  and  steel  rails.  Cities  had  grown  up 
on  his  camp  grounds,  farms  had  invaded' the  old  cattle  ranges  of  the 
California  valleys,  and  the  beaver  and  the  buffalo  had  gone  from  the 
land  that  knew  them,  forever. 

Early  Days 

IN  THE  spring  of  the  year  1824,  before  the  snow  had  left  the  high 
plains  and  the  foothills  of  the  Rockies,  eight  trappers  on  horseback 
slowly  made  their  way  over  the  South  Pass  and  down  to  the  Green 
River,  which  they  had  heard  the  Indians  call  the  Siskadee.  Here  they 
found  plenty  of  beaver,  also  lurking  bands  of  Shoshone  warriors  who 
stole  their  horses  and  put  the  adventurers  afoot  in  a  hostile  land. 

Jedediah  Smith,  a  youngster  then,  and  Thomas  Fitzpatrick,  whom 
the  Indians  called  "Broken  Hand,"  were  the  leaders  of  this  party. 
They  had  never  before  crossed  the  mountains  nor  had  any  of  their 
companions.  They  were  the  first  of  General  Ashley's  "mountain  men," 
and  among  them  was  James  Clyman,  the  author  of  these  memoirs. 

The  discoveries  made  by  these  scouts  led  almost  immediately  to 
American  control  of  the  Rocky  Mountain  beaver  trade  and  to  explora- 
tions of  the  great  imknown  districts  lying  between  the  Rockies  and  the 
Sierra  Nevada.  Thus  were  trails  opened  for  the  westward  rush  of 
trapper-guided  settlers  who  saved  Oregon  for  America  and  stimulated 
the  early  conquest  of  California. 

Scarcely  an  event  in  the  exploration  of  our  land  has  been  fraught 
with  such  consequences  as  this  discovery  of  the  South  Pass  route; 
scarcely  one  has  remained  so  little  known.  Colonel  Clyman,  in  his  remi- 
niscences, narrates  the  incidents  of  that  first  journey,  concluding  with 
his  own  escape  from  the  Indians  and  hi,s  solitary,  six-hundred-mile 
forced  march  from  the  headwaters  of  the  Platte  to  the  Missouri. 
Plainly,  we  must  inquire  further  into  the  life  of  the  teller  of  these  tales. 

An  adventuresome  Fate  must  have  taken  charge  of  James  Qyman 
from  that  first  day  of  February,  1792,  when  he  was  born,  on  a  farm 
in  the  foothills  of  the  Blue  Ridge  Mountains.  This  guiding  Fate 
transported  him  into  Ohio  and  the  War  of  1812,  taught  him  surveying 
in  Indiana  under  a  son  of  Alexander  Hamilton,  took  him  into  the 
Rockies  with  General  Ashley,  engaged  him  in  the  Black  Hawk  War  in 
the  same  company  with  Abraham  Lincoln,  made  him  a  pioneer  of 
Illinois  and  Wisconsin  in  the  'thirties,  and  finally  carried  him  thrice 
across  the  continent  as  an  emigrant  and  captain  of  emigrants  in  the 
covered-wagon  days. 

The  farm  upon  which  James  Clyman  was  bom  lay  in  the  northeast 
comer  of  Fauquier  County,  Virginia.  This  land  was  owned  by  Presi- 
dent George  Washington  and  the  elder  Clyman  held  a  life-lease  upon  it. 
Young  James  grew  up  here,  obtaining  a  "smattering  of  education," 
which  doubtless  included  many  a  glimpse  of  the  old  General  as  well  as 


frequent  excursions  into  the  surrounding  forests  in  search  of  squirrels, 
turkeys,  deer,  and  coons. 

The  frontier  stirred  the  blood  of  these  border  settlers.  When  James 
was  fifteen  years  old  the  father  took  the  family,  a  wife  and  three  sons, 
across  the  mountains  into  Ohio,  remaining  one  winter  in  Pennsylvania. 
Land  was  rented  and  finally  a  quarter  section  was  purchased,  in  Stark 
County,  just  at  the  time  of  the  Battle  of  Tippecanoe,  in  November, 
1811.  Harrison's  victory  allayed  Indian  troubles  for  nearly  a  year,  but 
after  Hull's  surrender  a  horde  of  savages  was  let  loose  upon  the  settlers, 
most  of  whom  fled  to  places  of  safety.  The  few  who  remained,  including 
the  Clymans,  organized  committees  of  safety,  and  rangers  were  sent  out 
to  hold  the  Indian  raiders  in  check  until  the  Pennsylvania  Militia  could 
be  organized.  James  was  in  the  saddle  almost  continually,  answering 
alarms,  and  getting  his  first  taste  of  Indian  fighting.  During  the  con- 
tinuation of  the  war  in  1814  he  hired  as  substitute  for  a  neighbor  and 
was  stationed  in  Greenville.  After  service  of  only  a  month  he  returned, 
and  was  afterwards  back  in  the  militia  for  two  months  at  Jeromesville. 

Four  years  later,  becoming  restless  on  the  farm,  he  went  to  Pitts- 
burg only  to  find  himself  obliged  to  take  work  in  the  country  again. 
He  drifted  westward  through  southern  Ohio  into  Jennings  County, 
Indiana,  where  he  cleared  land,  planted  com  with  the  hoe,  and  traded 
the  crop  to  the  Delaware  Indians  for  ponies. 

In  the  spring,  probably  of  1820,  Qyman  contracted  to  furnish  a 
government  land-surveyor  with  provisions.  He  got  some  practice,  at 
odd  moments,  in  carrying  the  chain  and  rapidly  picked  up  the  rudi- 
ments of  practical  surveying.  When  Morris,  his  employer,  took  sick 
Qyman  was  able  to  take  over  the  work  and  finish  the  subdivision  of 
half  a  township. 

In  the  summer  of  1821  he  went  to  Terre  Haute,  Indiana,  where 
after  working  in  the  harvest  he  engaged  as  bookkeeper  with  Treat  and 
Blackman  who  were  operating  a  small  salt  factory,  fifty  or  sixty  miles 
north  of  the  settlements  on  the  Vermillion  River,  Illinois.  Colonel 
William  S.  Hamilton  was  in  this  vicinity  on  a  surveying  tour.  He 
hired  Clyman  and  left  him  in  the  smnmer  of  1822  to  complete  the  work. 
The  next  autumn  Qyman  did  another  surveying  job  on  the  Sangamon 

In  order  to  draw  his  pay,  Clyman  proceeded  to  St.  Louis  early 
in  the  spring  of  1823,  and  there  met  General,  then  Lieutenant-governor, 
William  H.  Ashley,  the  renowned  fur-trader.  Ashley  employed  him  to 
enlist  men  for  the  second  expedition  up  the  Missoml.  Cl)anan  "pro- 
cured as  many  as  were  needed  and  finally  took  the  berth  of  clerk  of  a 
'cargo-box'  on  one  of  the  boats  at  $1  per  day." 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  13 

James  Qyman  now  tells  his  own  story  of  this  little  known  first  year 
with  Ashley's  men  in  the  Rockies:^ 

"Col.  James  Clyman's  Narrative 
"Nappa  April  17.    1871 

"Acording  to  promis  I  now  will  attempt  to  give  you  a  short  detail 
of  life  and  incidents  of  my  trip  in  &  through  the  Rockey  Mountains 
in  the  years  [1823]  1824-25,  26,  27,  28  and  a  portion  of  1829^ 

"Haveing  been  imployed  in  Public  Surveys  in  the  state  of  Illinois 
through  the  winter  of  1823  [1822]  and  the  early  part  of  24  [23]  I 
came  to  St  Louis  about  the  first  of  February  to  ricieve  pay  for  past 
services  and  rimaining  there  Some  days  I  heard  a  report  that  general 
William  H  Ashly  was  engageing  men  for  a  Trip  to  the  mouth  of  the 
Yellow  Stone  river  I  made  enquiry  as  to  what  was  the  object  but 
found  no  person  who  seemed  to  possess  the  desired  information  find- 
ing whare  Ashleys  dwelling  was  I  called  on  him  the  same  evening 
Several  Gentlemen  being  present  he  invited  me  to  call  again  on  a  certain 
evening  which  I  did  he  then  gave  a  lenthy  acount  of  game  found  in 
that  Region  Deer,  elk.  Bear  and  Buffalo  but  to  crown  all  immence 
Quantities  of  Beaver  whose  skins  ware  verry  valuable  selling  from  $5 
to  8$  per  pound  at  that  time  in  St  Louis  and  the  men  he  wished  to 
engage  ware  to  [be]  huters  trappers  and  traders  for  furs  and  pel  trees 
my  curiosity  now  being  satisfied  St  Louis  being  a  fine  place  for  Spend- 
ing money  I  did  not  leave  immediately  not  having  spent  all  my  funds 
I  loitered  about  without  (without)  employment 

"Haveing  fomed  a  Slight  acquaintance  with  Mr  Ashley  we  occa- 
sionly  passed  each  other  on  the  streets  at  length  one  day  Meeting 
him  he  told  me  he  had  been  looking  for  me  a  few  days  back  and 
enquired  as  to  my  employment  I  informed  him  that  I  was  entirely 
imemployed  he  said  he  wished  then  that  I  would  assist  him  ingage- 
ing  men  for  his  Rockey  mountain  epedition  and  he  wished  me  to  call 
at  his  house  in  the  evening  which  I  accordingly  did  getting  instrutions 
as  to  whare  I  would  most  probably  find  men  willing  to  engage  which 
[were  to  be]  found  in  grog  Shops  and  other  sinks  of  degredation      he 

2  The  original  manuscript,  written  in  a  small  notebook,  is  in  the  Draper  Collec- 
tion of  the  Wisconsin  Historical  Society.  Most  of  the  circumstances  of  Clyman's 
early  life,  as  written  above,  are  taken  from  Mrs.  Tallman's  narrative  in  the  Draper 

3  Clyman  forgets  his  dates.  He  entered  the  mountains  in  1823  and  probably 
left  them  in  the  fall  of  1827. 

The  "promis"  had  evidently  been  made  to  Montgomery,  the  editor  of  the  Napa 
Reporter,  who  ran  the  first  half  of  this  account  in  his  papwr;  see  note  175.  In  the 
newspaper  account  Cl5anan  says,  "I  think  I  was  something  of  a  fop  in  those  days 
and  sometimes  have  a  good  laugh  to  think  how  I  must  have  looked  in  my  fringed 
suit  of  buckskin  with  ruffled  shirt  to  match." 


rented  a  house  &  furnished  it  with  provisions  Bread  from  to  Bakers  — 
pork  plenty,  which  the  men  had  to  cook  for  themselves 

"On  the  8*^  [10th]  of  March  1824  [1823]  all  things  ready  we 
shoved  off  from  the  shore  fired  a  swivel  which  was  answered  by  a  Shout 
form  the  shore  which  we  returned  with  a  will  and  poroeed  up  stream 
under  sail 

"A  discription  of  our  crew  I  cannt  give  but  Fallstafs  Battallion  was 
genteel  in  comparison      I  think  we  had  about  ( 70)  seventy  all  told 
Two  Keel  Boats  with  crews  of  French  some  St  Louis  gumboes  as  they 
ware  called 

"We  proceeded  slowly  up  the  Misourie  River  under  sail  wen  winds 
ware  favourable  and  towline  when  not  Towing  or  what  was  then 
calld  cordell  is  a  slow  and  tedious  method  of  assending  swift  waters 
It  is  done  by  the  men  walking  on  the  shore  and  bawling  the  Boat  by  a 
long  cord  Nothing  of  importance  came  under  wiew  for  some  months 
except  loosing  men  who  left  us  from  time  to  time  &  engaging  a  few 
new  men  of  a  much  better  appearance  than  those  we  lost  The 
Missourie  is  a  monotinous  crooked  stream  with  large  cottonwood  forest 
trees  on  one  side  and  small  yoimg  groth  on  the  other  with  a  bare  Sand 
Barr  intervening  I  will  state  one  circumstanc  only  which  will  show 
something  of  the  character  of  Missourie  Boats  men 

"The  winds  are  occasionally  very  strong  and  when  head  winds  pre- 
vail we  ware  forced  to  lay  by  this  circumstanc  happen**,  once  before 
we  left  the  Settlements  the  men  went  out  gunning  and  that  night 
came  in  with  plenty  of  game  Eggs  Fowls  Turkeys  and  what  not 
Haveing  a  fire  on  shore  they  dressed  cooked  and  eat  untill  midnight 
being  care  full  to  burn  all  the  fragments  the  wind  still  Blowing  in  the 
morning  several  Neighbours  came  in  hunting  for  poultry  liberty  was 
given  to  search  the  boats  but  they  found  nothing  and  left  the  wind 
abateing  somewhat  the  cord  was  got  out  amd  pulling  around  a  bend 
the  wind  became  a  farir  sailing  breeze  and  [the  sails]  wa[r]e  ordred 
unfurled  when  out  droped  pigs  and  poultry  in  abundance 

"A  man  was  ordred  to  Jump  in  the  skiff  and  pick  up  the  pigs  and 

"Ariveing  at  Council  Bluffs  we  m[a]de  several  exchanges  (8)  eight 
or  Ten  of  our  men  enlisting  and  2  or  3  of  the  Soldier  whose  [terms  of 
enlistment]  was  nearly  expired  engageing  with  us  The  officers  being 
verry  liberal  furnished  us  with  a  Quantity  of  vegetables  here  we  leave 
the  last  appearance  of  civilization  and  [enter]  fully  Indian  country- 
game  becomeing  more  plenty  we  furnished  ourselvs  with  meat  daily 

"But  I  pass  on  to  the  arickaree  villages  whare  we  met  with  oiu* 
defeat  on  ariveing  in  sight  of  the  villages  the  barr  in  front  was  lined 
with  squaws  packing  up  water  thinking  to  have  to  stand  a  siege 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  15 

"For  a  better  understanding  it  is  necessay  that  I  state  tha[t]  the 
Missourie  furr  company  have  established  a  small  trading  house  [perhaps 
one  of  the  Teton  River  posts]  some  (60)  or  (80)  miles  below  the 
arrickree  villages  the  winter  previous  to  owr  assent  and  the  arrickarees 
haveing  taken  some  Sioux  squaws  prisoners  previously  one  of  these 
Squaws  got  away  from  them  and  made  for  this  trading  post  and  th^ 
persuing  come  near  overtaking  her  in  sight  of  the  post  the  men  in 
the  house  ran  out  and  fired  on  the  Pesueing  arrickarees  killing  (2) 
others  so  that  Rees  considered  war  was  fully  declared  betwen  them 
and  the  whites  But  genl.  Asley  thought  he  could  make  them  under- 
stand that  his  [company]  was  not  resposable  for  Injuries  done  by  the 
Missourie  fur  company  But  the  Rees  could  not  make  the  distiction 
they  however  agreed  to  recieve  pay  for  thier  loss  but  the  geeneral  would 
make  them  a  present  but  would  not  pay  the  Misourie  fur  companies 

"After  one  days  talk  they  agreed  to  open  trade  on  the  sand  bar 
in  front  of  the  village  but  the  onley  article  of  Trade  they  wantd  was 
ammunition  For  feare  of  a  difficulty,  the  boats  ware  kept  at  anchor 
in  the  streame,  and  the  skiffs  were  used  for  communications  Betteen 
the  boats  and  the  shore,  we  obtained  twenty  horses  in  three  d[a]ys 
trading,  but  in  doing  this  we  gave  them  a  fine  supply  of  Powder  and 
ball  which  on  [the]  fourth  day  wee  found  out  to  [our]  Sorrow 

"In  the  night  of  the  third  day  Several  of  our  men  without  permition 
went  and  remained  in  the  village  amongst  them  our  Interperter  Mr 
[Edward]  Rose  about  midnight  he  came  runing  into  camp  &  informr 
ed  us  that  one  of  our  men  [Aaron  Stephens]  was  killed  in  the  village 
and  war  was  declared  in  earnest  We  had  no  Military  organization 
diciplin  or  Subordination  Several  advised  to  cross  over  the  river  at 
once  but  thought  best  to  wait  untill  day  light  But  Gnl.  Ashley  our 
imployer  Thought  best  to  wait  till  morning  and  go  into  the  village  and 
demand  the  body  of  our  comrade  and  his  Murderer  Ashley  being 
the  most  interested  his  advice  prevailed  We  laid  on  our  arms 
e[x]pecting  an  attact  as  their  was  a  continual  Hubbub  in  the  village 

"At  length  morning  appeared  every  thing  still  undecided  finally 
one  shot  was  fired  into  our  camp  the  distance  being  however  to  great 
for  certain  aim  Shortly  firing  became  Quite  general  we  seeing  nothing 
to  fire  at  Here  let  me  give  a  Short  discription  of  an  Indian  City  or 
village  as  it  is  usually  cal^  Picture  to  yoiu:  self  (50)  or  (100)  large 
potatoe  holes  as  they  are  usuly  caled  in  the  west  (10)  to  (IS)  feet  in 
diameter  and  8  to  10  feet  high  in  the  center  covered  on  the  outside  with 
small  willow  brush  then  a  (a)  layer  of  coarse  grass  a  coat  of  earth  over 
all  a  hole  in  one  side  for  a  door  and  another  in  the  top  to  let  out  the 


smoke  a  small  fire  in  the  center  all  Told  The  continual  wars  between 
them  and  Sioux  had  caused  them  to  picket  in  their  place  You  will 
easely  prceive  that  we  had  little  else  to  do  than  to  Stand  on  a  bear  sand 
barr  and  be  shot  at,  at  long  range  Their  being  seven  or  Eigh  hundred 
guns  in  village  and  we  having  the  day  previously  furnished  them  with 
abundance  of  Powder  and  Ball  [There  were]  many  calls  for  the  boats 
to  come  ashore  and  take  us  on  board  but  no  prayers  or  threats  had  the 
[slightest  effect]  the  Boats  men  being  completely  Parylized  Several 
men  being  wounded  a  skiff  was  brought  ashore  all  rushed  for  the 
Skiff  and  came  near  sinking  it  but  it  went  the  boat  full  of  men  and  water 
the  shot  still  coming  thicker  and  the  aim  better  we  making  a  brest  work 
of  our  horses  (most)  they  nerly  all  being  killed  the  skiffs  having 
taken  sevarl  loads  on  Board  the  boats  at  length  the  shot  coming  thicker 
and  faster  one  of  the  skiffs  (was  turned)  was  let  go  the  men  clamber- 
ing on  Boad  let  the  skiff  float  off  in  their  great  eaganess  to  conceal 
themselves  from  the  rapid  fire  of  the  enemy  I  seeing  no  hopes  of 
Skiffs  or  boats  comeing  ashore  left  my  hiding  place  behind  a  dead  hors, 
ran  up  stream  a  short  distance  to  get  the  advantage  of  the  current  and 
concieving  myself  to  be  a  tolerable  strong  swimer  stuck  the  muzzle  of 
my  rifle  in  [my]  belt  the  lock  ove  my  head  with  all  my  clothes  on 
but  not  having  made  suffiden  calculation  for  the  strong  current  was 
carried  passed  the  boat  within  a  few  feet  of  the  same  one  Mr  Thomas 
Eddie  [saw  me]  but  the  shot  coming  thick  he  did  not  venture  from 
behin  the  cargo  Box  and  so  could  not  reach  me  with  a  setting  pole  which 
[he]  held  in  his  hands  K  [n]  owing  now  or  at  [least]  thinking  that  I 
had  the  river  to  swim  my  first  aim  was  to  rid  myself  of  all  my  encum- 

braces  and  my  Rifle  was  the  greatest       in  my  attempt  to  draw  it 

over  my  head  it  sliped  down  the  lock  ketching  in  my  belt      comeing 

to  the  surface  to  breathe  I  found  it  hindred  worse  than  it  did  at  first 

making  one  more  effort  I  turned  the  lock  side  ways  and  it  sliped 

through  which  gave  me  some  relief  but  still  finding  myself  to  much 

encumbred  I  next  unbucled  my  belt  and  let  go  my  Pistols      still  con- 

tinueing  to  disengage  my  self  I  next  let  go  my  Ball  Pouch  and  finally 

one  Sleeve  of  my  Hunting  shirt  which  was  buckskin  and  held  an 

immence  weight  of  water  when  rising  to  the  surface  I  heard  the  voice  of 

encoragemnt  saying  hold  on  Clyman  I  will  soon  relieve  you      This 

[from]  Reed  Gibson  who  had  swam  in  and  caught  the  skiff  the  men 

had  let  go  afloat  and  was  but  a  few  rods  from  me      I  was  so  much 

exausted  that  he  had  to  haul  me  into  the  skiff  wh[ere]  I  lay  for  a 

moment  to  cacth  breath  when  I  arose  to  take  the  only  remaing  ore 

when  Gibson  caled  oh,  god  I  am  shot  and  fell  forward  in  the  skiff      I 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  17 

encouraged  him  and  [said]  Perhaps  not  fatally  give  a  few  pulls  more 
and  we  will  be  out  of  reach  he  raised  and  gave  sevreral  more  strokes 
with  the  oar  using  it  as  a  paddle  when  [he]  co[m]  plained  of  feeling 
faint  when  he  fell  forward  again  and  I  took  his  plac  in  the  sterm 
and  shoved  it  across  to  the  East  shore  whare  we  landed  I  hauled  the 
skiff  up  on  the  shore  and  told  Gibson  to  remain  in  the  Skiff  and  I  would 
go  upon  the  high  land  whare  I  could  see  if  any  danger  beset  us  thair. 
After  getting  up  on  the  river  bank  and  looking  around  I  Discovered 
sevral  Indian  in  the  water  swimming  over  [some]  of  whoom  ware  nearly 
across  the  stream  I  spoke  to  Gibson  telling  him  of  the  circumstance 
he  mearly  said  (said)  save  yourself  Clyman  and  pay  no  attention 
to  me  as  I  am  a  dead  man  and  they  can  get  nothing  of  me  but  my 
Scalp  My  first  Idea  was  to  get  in  the  skiff  and  meet  them  in  the 
water  and  brain  them  with  the  oar  But  on  second  look  I  conconcluded 
there  ware  to  many  of  them  and  they  ware  too  near  the  shore  then 
I  looked  for  some  place  to  hide  But  there  being  onley  a  scant  row  of 
brush  along  the  shore  I  concluded  to  take  to  the  open  Pararie  and  run 
for  life  by  this  time  Gibson  had  scrambled  up  the  bank  and  stood 
by  my  side  and  said  run  Clyman  but  if  you  escape  write  to  my 
friends  in  Virginia  and  tell  them  what  has  become  of  me  I  [ran]  for 
the  open  Prarie  and  Gibson  for  the  brush  to  hide  at  first  I  started  a 
little  distance  down  the  river  but  fearing  that  I  might  be  headed  in 
some  bend  I  steered  directly  for  the  open  Prarie  and  looking  Back  I 
saw  three  Inians  mount  the  bank  being  intirely  divested  of  garments 
excepting  a  belt  aroun  the  waist  containing  a  Knife  and  Tomahawk  and 
Bows  and  arrows  in  their  [hands]  they  made  but  little  halt  and 
started  after  me  one  to  the  right  the  other  to  the  left  while  the  third 
took  direct  after  me  I  took  direct  for  the  rising  ground  I  think  about 
three  miles  of  [f]  there  being  no  chanc  for  dodging  the  ground  being 
smooth  and  level  but  haveing  the  start  of  some  20  or  30  rods  we 
had  appearantle  an  even  race  for  about  one  hour  when  I  began  to  have 
the  palpitation  of  the  heart  and  I  found  my  man  was  gaining  on  me 
I  had  now  arived  at  a  moderately  roling  ground  and  for  the  first  time 
turned  a  hill  out  of  sight  I  turned  to  the  right  and  found  a  hole 
was[h]ed  in  the  earth  some  3  feet  long  V/i  feet  wide  and  Pehaps  2 
feet  deep  with  weeds  and  grass  perhaps  one  foot  high  surrounding  it 
into  this  hole  I  droped  and  persuer  immediatle  hove  in  sight  and  passed 
me  about  fifty  yards  distant  both  my  right  an  left  hand  persuers  haveing 
fallen  cosiderably  in  the  rear  and  particularly  the  one  on  my  right 
here  fortune  favoured  me  for  my  direct  persuer  soon  passed  over  some 
uneven  ground  got  out  of  sight  when  I  arose  and  taking  to  the  right 
struck  into  a  low  ground  which  covered  me  and  following  it  soon 


came  into  a  moderately  steep  ravine  in  all  this  time  I  gained  breath 
and  I  did  not  see  my  persuers  until  I  gained  the  top  of  the  ridge  over 
a  Quarter  of  a  mile  from  my  friend  when  I  gained  this  elevation  I 
turned  around  [and  saw]  the  three  standing  near  togather  I  made 
them  a  low  bow  with  both  my  hand  and  thanked  god  for  my  present 
Safety  and  diliveranc 

"But  I  did  not  remain  long  here  wishing  to  put  the  gratest 
possible  distance  between  me  and  the  Arrickarees  I  still  continued 
Southward  over  a  smoothe  roling  ground  But  what  ware  my  reflection 
being  at  least  Three  Hundred  miles  from  any  assistanc  unarmed  and 
u[n]  provided  with  any  sort  of  means  of  precureing  a  subsistance  not 
even  a  pocket  Knife  I  began  to  feel  after  passing  So  many  dangers 
that  my  pro[s]pects  ware  still  verry  slim,  mounting  some  high  land 
I  saw  ahed  of  me  the  river  and  Quite  a  grove  of  timber  and  being  verry 
thirsty  I  made  for  the  water  intending  to  take  a  good  rest  in  the  tim- 
ber I  took  one  drink  of  water  and  setting  down  on  a  drift  log  a  few 
minuits  I  chanced  to  look  [at]  the  [river]  and  here  came  the  boats 
floating  down  the  stream  the  [men]  watcing  along  the  shores  saw  me 
about  as  soon  as  I  saw  them       the  boat  was  laid  in  and  I  got  aboard 

"I  spoke  of  my  friend  Gibson  whe[n]  I  was  informed  he  was  on 
board  I  immediately  wen[t]  to  the  cabin  whare  he  lay  but  he  did 
not  recognize  me  being  in  the  agonies  of  Death  the  shot  having  passed 
through  his  bowels  I  could  not  refrain  from  weeping  over  him  who 
lost  his  lifee  but  saved  mine  he  did  not  live  but  an  hour  or  so  and 
we  buried  him  that  evening  the  onley  one  of  (12)  [13]  that  ware  killed 
at  the  arrickarees  Eleven  being  left  on  the  sand  bar  and  their  Scalps 
taken  for  the  squaws  to  sing  and  dance  over 

"Before  meeting  with  this  defeat  I  think  few  men  had  Stronger 
Ideas  of  their  bravery  and  disregard  of  fear  than  I  had  but  standing 
on  a  bear  and  open  sand  barr  to  be  shot  at  from  bihind  a  picketed 
Indian  village  was  more  than  I  had  contacted  for  and  some  what  cooled 
my  courage  before  leaving  the  grave  of  my  friend  Gibson  that  [day 
and]  before  I  had  an  oppertunity  of  writeing  to  his  friends  I  forgot 
his  post  office  and  so  never  have  writen^  We  fell  down  a  few  miles 
and  lay  by  several  day  to  wait  and  [see]  if  any  more  men  had  escaped 

■*  For  documents  concerning  the  Arikara  fight  and  subsequent  events  see 
Doane  Robinson,  Official  Correspondence  of  the  Leavenworth  Expedition  into  South 
Dakota,  S.  D.  Hist.  Coll.,  vol.  I,  1902,  pp.  181-256.  Robinson  quotes  a  quaint 
letter  of  Hugh  Glass  written  concerning  John  S.  Gardner  who  like  Gibson  and  Cly- 
man  was  a  Virginian.  Jedediah  Smith's  "powerful  prayer"  over  Gardner's  body  is 
said  to  have  been  "the  first  worship  ever  held  in  South  Dakota."  This  would  in- 
dicate that  there  was  another  besides  Gibson  who  was  buried.  Two  published 
casualty  lists  agree  with  Clyman's  statement  that  eleven  were  kUled  on  the  sand- 
bar, all  probably  in  a  few  minutes  of  fighting. 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  19 

the  but[c]hery  when  on  the  third  or  fourth  day  Jack  Larisson  came  to 
us  naked  as  when  he  was  bom  and  the  skin  peeling  off  of  him  from  the 
effects  of  the  sun  he  was  wounded  a  ball  passing  through  the  fleshy- 
part  of  one  thigh  and  Idging  in  the  other  the  ball  was  easily  exticated 
and  in  a  few  (a  few)  days  he  was  hobbling  around  Larrisson  had  lain 
between  two  dead  horses  untill  the  boats  left  and  he  saw  no  other  chance 
of  escape  but  to  swim  the  river  then  divesting  himself  of  all  his 
clothing  he  took  the  water  the  Indians  came  ruiming  and  firing  at  his 
head  but  [he]  escaped  without  further  injury  the  wound  Before 
mentioned  he  had  recieved  in  the  early  part  of  the  battle  if  it  can  be 
called  Battle  supposing  no  more  men  had  survived  the  slaughte[r]  we 
again  droped  down  the  river 

"And  landed  under  the  side  of  an  Isle  [Ashley  Island]  and  two  men 
[Jedediah  Smith  and  a  French  Canadian]  ware  sent  up  to  [Ashley's 
post  at]  the  mouth  of  the  yellowstone  and  one  boat  containing  the 
wounded  and  discouraged  was  sent  down  to  Council  bluffs  with  orders 
to  continue  to  St  Louis  This  being  the  fore  part  of  June  here  we 
lay  for  Six  weeks  or  two  months  living  on  Scant  and  frquentle  no 
rations  allthough  game  was  plenty  on  the  main  Shore  perhaps  it  was 
my  fault  in  greate  measure  for  several  of  us  being  allowed  to  go  on 
Shore  we  ware  luckey  enough  to  get  Several  Elk  each  one  packing  meat 
to  his  utmost  capacity  there  came  on  a  brisk  shower  of  rain  Just 
before  we  reached  the  main  shore  and  a  brisk  wind  arising  the  men 
on  the  (men  on  the)  boat  would  not  bring  the  skiff  and  take  us  on 
board  the  bank  being  bear  and  no  timber  neare  we  ware  suffering 
with  wet  and  cold  I  went  ofif  to  the  nearest  timber  made  a  fire 
dried  and  warmed  myself  laid  down  and  went  to  sleep  in  the  morning 
looking  around  I  saw  a  fine  Buck  in  easy  gun  shot  and  I  suceeded  in 
Killing  him  then  I  was  in  town  plenty  of  wood  plenty  of  water 
and  plenty  of  nice  fat  venison  nothing  to  do  but  cook  and  eat  here 
I  remained  untill  next  morning  then  taking  a  good  back  load  to  the 
landing  whare  I  met  several  men  who  had  Just  landed  for  the  purpose 
of  hunting  for  me  after  this  I  was  scarcely  ever  allowed  to  go  ashore 
for  I  might  never  return 

"In  proceess  of  time  news  came  that  Col.  Livenworth  with  Seven  or 
eight  hundred  Sioux  Indians  ware  on  the  rout  to  Punnish  the  Arrickarees 
and  (18)  or  (20)  men  came  down  from  [Ashley's  post  on]  the  Yellow 
Stone  who  had  gone  up  [under  Andrew  Henry]  the  year  prevous 
these  men  came  in  Canoes  (came  in  canoes)  and  passed  the  Arrickarees 
in  the  night  we  ware  now  landed  on  the  main  Shore  and  allowed 
more  liberty  than  hertofore  (at)  Col.  Levenworth  [with]  about 
(150)  mem  the  remnant  of  the  (6)  Regiment  came  and  Shortly  after 


Major  Pilcher  with  the  Sioux  Indians  (Indians)  amounting  to  5  or  600 
warriers  and  (18)  or  20  engagies  of  the  Missourie  furr  Company  and  a 
grand  feast  was  held  and  speeches  made  by  whites  and  Indians 

''After  2  days  talk  a  feast  and  an  Indian  dance  we  proceded  up 
stream  Some  time  toward  the  last  [the  eighth]  of  August  we  came 
near  the  arrickaree  villages  again  a  halt  was  made  arms  examined 
amunition  distributed  and  badges  given  to  our  friends  the  Sioux 
which  consisted  of  a  strip  of  white  muslin  bound  around  the  head  to 
distinguish  friends  from  foes 

"The  third  day  in  the  afternoon  being  2  or  three  miles  from  the 
villages  the  Sioux  made  a  breake  being  generally  mounted  they  out 
went  us  although  we  ware  put  to  the  double  Quick  and  when  we  arived 
the  plain  was  covered  with  Indians  which  looked  more  like  a  swarm 
[of]  bees  than  a  battle  field  they  going  in  all  possible  directions 
the  Rees  having  mounted  and  met  the  Sioux  a  half  mile  from  their 
pickets  But  as  soon  as  we  came  in  sight  the  Rees  retreated  into  their 
village  the  boats  came  up  and  landed  a  short  half  mile  below  the 
village  but  little  efort  was  mad  that  afternoon  except  to  surround 
the  Rees  and  keep  them  from  leaveing  the  Sioux  coming  around  one 
side  and  the  whites  aroimd  the  other  Quite  a  number  of  dead 
Indians  streued  over  the  plain  I  must  here  notice  the  Bravery  of  one 
Sioux  a  Ree  ventured  out  some  distance  from  the  pickets  and  held 
some  tantalizeing  conversation  with  the  Sioux,  one  Siox  on  a  fast  horse 
approached  him  slowly  Still  bantering  each  other  to  approach  nearer 
at  length  the  Sioux  put  whip  to  his  horse  taking  directly  for  the  Ree 
and  run  him  right  up  to  the  [village]  then  firing  at  full  speed  wheeled 
to  retreat  the  Rees  inside  of  the  pickets  firing  some  40  or  50  of  them 
covered  him  completely  in  smoke  but  Sioux  and  his  horse  came  out  safe 
and  the  Rees  horse  went  in  through  the  gate  without  a  rider  the 
Rees  friends  came  out  and  carried  in  the  man  Several  Rees  lay  dead 
and  one  in  long  shot  (shot)  of  the  pickets  the  old  Sioux  chief  Brought 
one  of  his  wives  up  with  a  war  club  who  struck  the  corps  a  number  of 
blow  with  [the]  club  he  tantalizeing  the  Rees  all  the  time  for  their  cow- 
ardice in  [not]  comeing  out  to  defend  thair  dead  comrad  and  allowing 
his  Squaws  to  strike  their  braves  in  gunshot  of  their  village  a  common 
habit  of  the  Indians  in  war  is  the  first  man  that  comes  to  the  body  of 
a  dead  enemy  is  to  take  his  Scalp  the  second  will  take  off  his  right 
hand  the  third  his  left  the  fourth  his  right  foot  the  fifth  his  Left 
foot  and  hang  thes  trophies  around  their  necks  to  shew  how  near  they 
ware  to  the  death  of  their  enemy  on  the  field  of  Battle  and  in  this  case 
a  member  of  our  Sioux  shewed  Trophies  one  more  circumstance  and 
I  am  done      one  large  middle  aged  Sioux  blonged  to  the  grizzle  Bear 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  21 

medicine  came  on  hand  [and]  feet  to  the  body  of  a  dead  Ree  in  the 
attitude  of  a  grzzly  Bear  snorting  and  mimican  the  bear  in  all  his  most 
vicious  attitudes  and  with  his  teeth  tore  out  mouth  fulls  of  flesh  from 
the  breast  of  the  dead  body  of  the  Ree 

"But  I  will  not  tire  you  with  details  of  the  savage  habits  of  Indians 
to  their  enimies  but  I  will  merely  state  that  it  is  easy  to  make  a  savage 
of  a  civilised  man  but  impossible  to  make  a  civilised  man  of  a  savage 
in  one  Generation 

"The  third  day  in  the  afternoon  one  of  the  Ree  chiefs  came  out 
alone  offering  terms  of  peace  a  Schedule  was  drawn  up  to  be  con- 
firmed on  the  morrow  in  a  half  hour  after  this  was  undestood  our 
Sioux  packed  up  and  ware  out  of  sight  also  the  most  of  the  Missourie 
companies  men 

"The  night  was  Quiet  but  the  two  previous  we  had  a  lively  picture 
of  pandimonium  the  wa[il]ing  of  squaws  and  children  the  Screams 
and  yelling  of  men  the  fireing  of  guns  the  awful  howling  of  dogs  the 
neighing  and  braying  of  bosses  and  mules  with  the  hooting  of  owls  of 
which  thy  [were]  a  number  all  intermingled  with  the  stench  of  dead 
men  and  horses  made  the  place  the  most  (most)  disagreeable  that 
immaginnation  could  fix  Short  of  the  bottomless  pit  In  the  morning 
however  our  Quiet  night  was  easily  accounted  for  the  Rees  having 
dserted  thair  village  early  in  the  night  previous  a  few  men  with 
an  Interpeter  ware  sent  forward  to  hunt  them  up  and  bring  them  back 

they  returned  about  noon  not  being  able  to  overtake  them  one 
circumstanc  I  must  not  omit  to  mention  Captain  [Bennett]  Riley 
since  General  Riley  who  gave  California  her  constitu  [ti]  on  was  present 
and  in  command  of  company  of  Company  A.  .6.*^  Regiment  and  re- 
quested pemition  to  lead  a  forlorn  hope  into  the  villag  but  was  denied 
that  honour  he  then  became  allmost  furious  and  swore  that  he  demande 
the  prviledge  stating  that  they  had  been  laying  at  garison  at  Council 
Bluffs  for  8  or  10  years  doeing  nothing  but  eating  pumpkins  and  now  a 
small  chance  for  promotion  occured  and  it  was  denied  him  and  might 
not  occurr  again  for  the  next  10  yeares  (again) 

"We  Remained  one  night  more  in  our  stinking  disageeable  camp 
when  we  loosed  cable  and  droped  down  stream  4  men  of  our  mountanier 
corps  was  left  behind  and  in  an  hour  after  we  left  a  great  smoke  arose 
and  the  acursd  village  was  known  to  be  on  fire  three  Squaw  2  verry 
old  and  feeb[l]e  and  one  sick  and  unab[l]e  to  move  ware  found  to  have 
been  left  as  not  worth  caring  for  these  ware  removed  into  a  lodge 
which  was  preserved  Col.  Levenworth  had  given  special  orders  that 
the  village  be  left  immolested  &  ordered  the  boats  landed  and  role 
called  to  assertain  who  if  any  ware  missing      the  sargent  called  over 


the  roles  rapidly  and  reported  all  present       then   [the  inference  was 
that]  it  must  be  Souix 

"We  having  to  hunt  for  our  living  we  soon  fell  behind  the  Col.  and 
his  corps  droping  down  to  a  place  called  fort  Keawa  [Kiowa]  a  trading 
establishment  blonging  to  Missourie  [American]  furr  Company 

"Here  a  small  company  of  I  think  (13)  men  [under  Andrew 
Henry]  ware  furnished  a  few  horses  onley  enough  to  pack  their  bag- 
gage they  going  back  to  the  mouth  of  the  yellow  Stone  on  their  way 
up  they  ware  actacted  in  the  night  by  a  small  party  of  Rees  killing 
two  of  thier  men  and  they  killing  one  Ree  amongst  this  party  was  a 
Mr  Hugh  Glass  who  could  not  be  rstrand  and  kept  under  Subordina- 
tion he  went  off  of  the  line  of  march  one  afternoon  and  met  with  a 
large  grissly  Bear  which  he  shot  at  and  wounded  the  bear  as  is 
usual  attacted  Glass  he  attemptd  to  climb  a  tree  but  the  bear  caught 
him  and  hauled  to  the  ground  tearing  and  lacerating  his  body  in 
feareful  rate  by  this  time  several  men  ware  in  close  gun  shot  but 
could  not  shoot  for  fear  of  hitting  Glass  at  length  the  beare  ap- 
pea[r]ed  to  be  satisfied  and  turned  to  leave  when  2  or  3  men  fired 
the  bear  turned  immediately  on  glass  and  give  him  a  second  mutilation 

on  turning  again  several  more  men  shot  him  when  for  the  third 
time  he  pouncd  on  Glass  and  fell  dead  over  his  body  this  I  have  from 
information  not  being  present  here  I  leave  Glass  for  the  presen  we 
having  bought  a  few  horses  and  borrowed  a  few  more^ 

"Fort  Keawa 

left  about  the  last  of  September  [1823]  and  proceded  westward  over 
a  dry  roling  highland  a  EUeven  in  number  I  must  now  mention 
honorable  exceptions  to  the  character  of  the  men  engaged  at  St  Louis 
being  now  thined  down  to  onley  nine  of  those  who  Ifet  [left]  in  March 
and  first  Jededdiah  Smith  who  was  our  Captain  Thomas  Fitzpatrick 
William  L.  Sublett  and  Thomas  Eddie^  all  of  which  will  figure  more  or 
less  in  the  future  in  [the]  evening  we  camped  on  White  clay  Creek 
[White  River?]  a  small  stream  running  thick  with  a  white  sediment 
and  resembling  cream  in  appeareance  but  of  a  sweetish  pu[n]gent  taste 
our  guide  warned  us  from  using  this  water  too  freely  as  [it]  caused 
excessive  costiveness  which  we  soon  found  out 

^  Cf.  Yount's  account  of  Glass,  Calij.  Hist.  Soc.  Quarterly,  vol.  2,  no.  1,  pp. 
24-33.  Clyman's  inaccurate  account  of  the  Glass  episode  and  his  statement  that  he 
was  not  present  clears  up  a  point  that  has  always  been  misstated.  Clyman  shows 
that  Jedediah  Smith's  party  did  not  accompany  Henry  but  left  afterwards  and, 
crossing  the  Black.  Hills,  entered  Absaraka  from  the  east. 

^  For  an  account  of  Eddie,  see  Triplett,  Conquering  the  Wilderness,  1883,  pp. 
407-21.  Triplett  says  he  interviewed  Eddie  in  that  year.  Despite  this  opportunity 
the  sketch  he  gives  appears  to  be  scarcely  more  subdued  than  the  other  wild  stories 
in  his  book. 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  23 

"We  preceded  up  this  stream  one  day  [Trees]  not  in  sight  since 
we  left  the  Missourie  part  of  the  nxt  day  same  when  our  guide  in- 
fomed  us  to  take  what  water  we  could  as  we  would  not  reach  water 
untill  about  noon  the  next  day  our  means  of  taking  water  being  verry 
small  we  trailed  on  untill  dark  and  camped  on  a  ridge  whare  the  cactus 
was  so  thick  that  we  could  scarcely  find  room  to  spred  our  Blankets 
Starting  early  about  11  oclock  we  arived  at  our  expected  water  But 
behold  it  was  entirely  dry  not  even  dam[p]  mud  to  be  found  but  here 
we  found  a  few  Shrubby  oaks  to  protect  us  from  the  scorching  sun 
We  rested  perhaps  half  an  hour  1 5  miles  to  the  water  yet  and  being 
all  on  foot  and  a  pack  horse  to  leade  can  we  if  we  hold  out  reach  it 
before  dark  we  urged  and  hauled  our  stubron  horses  along  as  fast 
as  posible  our  guide  getting  a  long  way  ahead  and  finely  out  of  sight 
my  pack  horse  being  more  tractab[l]e  than  most  others  I  soon  got 
ahead  of  my  companions  and  we  got  strimg  out  a  mile  in  (tingth) 
[length]  the  country  some  what  roling  and  one  steering  off  to  the  right 
or  left  in  search  of  water  we  ware  not  onley  long  but  wide  and  it 
appeared  like  we  might  never  all  collect  togather  again  I  followd  as 
near  as  possible  the  last  appeance  of  our  guide  but  deveating  slightly 
to  the  right  struck  on  a  hole  [of]  water  about  an  hour  before  sunset 
I  fired  my  gun  immedeately  and  then  ran  into  the  pool  arm  deep  my 
horse  foloing  me 

"Comeing  out  I  fired  my  gun  again  one  man  and  horse  made 
their  appearance  the  horse  out  ran  the  man  plunging  into  the  water 
first  each  man  as  he  came  fired  his  gun  and  Shouted  as  soon  as  he 
could  moisten  his  mouth  and  throat  Sufficienty  to  mak  a  noise 
about  dark  we  all  got  collected  except  two  who  had  given  out  and  ware 
left  buried  in  the  sand  all  but  their  heads  Cap*  Smith  Being  the 
last  who  was  able  to  walk  and  he  took  Some  water  and  rode  about  2 
miles  back  bringing  up  the  exhausted  men  which  he  had  buried  in  the 
sand  and  this  two  days  of  thirst  and  Starvation  was  made  to  cross  a 
large  bend  of  the  white  clay  River  in  the  morning  we  found  it  yet 
4  or  5  miles  to  the  [Teton  or  Bad?]  river  whare  our  guide  [was]  waiting 
for  us  I  have  been  thus  particular  in  describing  the  means  and 
trobles  of  traveling  in  a  barren  and  unknown  region  here  our  River 
is  a  beautiful  Clare  stream  running  over  a  gravely  bottom  with  some 
timber  along  its  course  having  [emerged]  from  its  bed  of  mud  and 
ashes  for  the  sediment  spoken  of  is  nearer  it  mouth  Continued  up  the 
vally  of  this  stream   [Teton  or  Bad  River]   to  Sioux  encampment  of 

Burnt  wood 
the  Bois  Brulie  tribe  whare  we  remained  several   days  trading  for 

Horses  and  finely  obtained  27  or  28  which  gave  us  2  horses  to  each  man 
and  two  or  three  spare  animals       so  far  the  country  is  dry  not  fit  for 


cultivation  (Tere  may)  However  there  may  be  and  pro[b]a[b]ly 
is  better  soil  and  better  gr[a]ising  higher  up  amongst  the  hills  as  it 
certainly  grew  better  (was)  the  farther  we  proceeded  up  the  stream 
and  there  was  an  incr[e]as  of  Shrubery  and  soil  Likewise  here  our 
guide  left  us  to  return  with  the  Horses  we  had  borrowed  of  the  Miourie 
Furr  compy, 

"We  packed  up  and  crossed  the  White  Clay  [Teton]  river  and  pro- 
ceeded north  westemly  over  a  dry  roling  Country  for  several  days 
meting  with  a  Buffaloe  now  and  then  which  furnished  us  with  provision 
for  at  least  one  meal  each  day  our  luck  was  to  fall  in  with  the 
Oglela  tiribe  of  Sioux^.  whare  [we]  traded  a  few  more  horses  and  swaped 
of  [f]  some  of  our  more  ordina[r]y 

"Country  nearly  the  same  short  grass  and  plenty  of  cactus  untill 
we  crossed  the  [South  Fork  of?]  Chienne  River  a  few  miles  below  whare 
it  leaves  the  Black  Hill  range  of  Mountains  here  some  aluvial  lands 
look  like  they  might  bear  cultivation  we  did  not  keep  near  enough 
to  the  hills  for  a  rout  to  travel  on  and  again  fell  into  a  tract  of  county 
whare  no  vegetation  of  any  kind  existed  beeing  worn  into  knobs  and 
gullies  and  extremely  uneven  a  loose  grayish  coloured  soil  verry 
soluble  in  water  running  thick  as  it  could  move  of  a  pale  whitish  coular 
and  remarkably  adhesive  there  [came]  on  a  misty  rain  while  we  were 
in  this  pile  of  ashes  [bad-lands  west  of  the  South  Fork  of  the  Cheyenne 
River]  and  it  loded  down  our  horses  feet  (feet)  in  great  lumps  it 
looked  a  little  remarkable  that  not  a  foot  of  level  land  could  be  found 
the  narrow  revines  going  in  all  manner  of  directions  and  the  cobble 
mound  [s]  of  a  regular  taper  from  top  to  bottom  all  of  them  of  the 
percise  same  angle  and  the  tops  sharp  the  whole  of  this  region  is 
moveing  to  the  Misourie  River  as  fast  as  rain  and  thawing  of  Snow  can 
carry  it  by  enclining  a  little  to  the  west  in  a  few  hours  we  got  on  to 
smoothe  ground  and  soon  cleared  ourselves  of  mud  at  length  we 
arived  at  the  foot  of  the  black  Hills  which  rises  in  verry  slight  elevation 
above  the  common  plain  we  entered  a  pleasant  vmdulating  pine 
Region  cool  and  refreshing  so  different  from  the  hot  dusty  planes  we 
have  been  so  long  passing  over  and  here  we  found  hazlenuts  and  ripe 
plumbs  a  luxury  not  exp>ected  We  had  one  [or]  two  day  travel  over 
undulating  Pine  with  here  and  there  an  open  glade  of  rich  soill  and 
fine  grass  but  assinding  the  Ridges  un  [t]  ill  we  arived  near  the  summet 
our  rout  became  brushy  mainly  Scruby  pine  and  Juniper  the  last 
covered  in  purple  beries  comencing  our  desent  the  ravines  became 
steep  and  rugged  an  rockey  the  waters  flowing  westward  we  suposed 
we  ware  on  the  waters  of  Powder  river  one  evening  late  gowing 
d[o]wn  a  small  stream  we  came  into  a  Kenyon  and  pushed  ouselves 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  25 

down  SO  far  that  (that)  our  horses  had  no  room  to  turn  while  looking 
for  a  way  out  it  became  dark  by  unpacking  and  leading  our  animals 
down  over  Slipery  rocks  three  of  us  got  down  to  a  n[i]ce  open  glade 
whare  we  killed  a  Buffaloe  and  fared  Sumpiously  that  night  while  the 
rest  of  the  Company  remained  in  the  Kenyon  without  room  to  lie 
down  we  now  found  it  would  not  do  to  follow  down  any  stream  in 
these  moutains  as  we  ware  shure  to  meet  with  rocky  inaccessible 
places  So  with  great  exertion  we  again  assended  to  the  top  of  a  ridge 
and  ware  Quite  lucky  in  gitting  a  main  devide  which  led  us  a  consider- 
able distance  before  [we]  had  to  desend  again  but  this  portion  of 
the  mountain  furnished  our  horses  with  no  food  and  they  began  to  be 
verry  poor  and  weak  so  we  left  3  men  and  five  horses  behind  to  recruit 
while  the  rest  of  us  preceded  on  there  being  some  sighn  of  Beaver 
in  the  vicinity  and  hoping  to  soon  find  more  where  we  Might  all  Stop 
for  a  time  The  Crow  Indians  being  our  place  of  destination  a  half 
Breed  by  the  name  of  Rose  who  spoke  the  crow  tongue  was  dispached 
ahead  to  find  the  Crows  and  try  to  induce  some  of  them  to  come  to  our 
assistance  we  to  travel  directly  west  as  near  as  circumstances  would 
permit  supposing  we  ware  on  the  waters  of  Powder  River  we  ought 
to  be  within  the  bounds  of  the  Crow  coimtry  continueing  five  days 
travel  since  leaveing  our  given  out  horses  and  likewise  Since  Rose 
left  us  late  in  the  afternoon  while  passing  through  a  Brushy  bottom 
a  large  Grssely  came  down  the  vally  we  being  in  single  file  men  on 
foot  leding  pack  horses  he  struck  us  about  the  center  then  turning 
ran  paralel  to  our  line  Cap*.  Smith  being  in  the  advanc  he  ran  to  the 
open  ground  and  as  he  immerged  from  the  thicket  he  and  the  bear  met 
face  to  face  Grissly  did  not  hesitate  a  moment  but  sprung  on  the 
cap*  taking  him  by  the  head  first  pitc  [h]  ing  sprawling  on  the  earth 
he  gave  him  a  grab  by  the  middle  fortunately  cat[c]hing  by  the  ball 
pouch  and  Butcher  K[n]ife  which  he  broke  but  breaking  several  of 
his  ribs  and  cutting  his  head  badly  none  of  us  having  any  sugical 
Knowledge  what  was  to  be  done  one  Said  come  take  hold  and  he 
wuld  say  why  not  you  so  it  went  around  I  asked  the  Cap*  what  was 
best  he  said  one  or  2  [go]  for  water  and  if  you  have  a  needle  and 
thread  git  it  out  and  sew  up  my  wounds  around  my  head  which  was 
bleeding  freely  I  got  a  pair  of  scissors  and  cut  off  his  hair  and  then 
began  my  first  Job  of  d[r]essing  wounds  upon  examination  I 
[foimd]  the  bear  had  taken  nearly  all  his  head  in  his  capcious  mouth 
close  to  his  left  eye  on  one  side  and  clos  to  his  right  ear  on  the  other 
and  laid  the  skull  bare  to  near  the  crown  of  the  head  leaving  a  white 
streak  whare  his  teeth  passed  one  of  his  ears  was  torn  fom  his  head 
out  to  the  outer  rim      after  stitching  all  the  other  wounds  in  the  best 


way  I  was  capabl  and  according  to  the  captains  directions  the  ear 
being  the  last  I  told  him  I  could  do  nothing  for  his  Eare  O  you  must 
try  to  stich  up  some  way  or  other  said  he  then  I  put  in  my  needle 
stiching  it  through  and  through  and  over  and  over  laying  the  lacerated 
parts  togather  as  nice  as  I  could  with  my  hands  water  was  found 
in  about  ame  mille  when  we  all  moved  down  and  encamped  the  captain 
being  able  to  mount  his  horse  and  ride  to  camp  whare  we  pitched  a  tent 
the  onley  one  we  had  and  made  him  as  comfortable  as  circumtances 
would  permit  this  gave  us  a  lisson  on  the  charcter  of  the  grissly 
Baare  which  we  did  not  forget  I  now  a  found  time  to  ride  around  and 
explore  the  immediate  surroundings  of  our  camp  and  assertained  that 
we  ware  still  on  the  waters  of  [South  Fork  of]  shiann  river  which  heads 
allmost  in  the  eastern  part  of  the  Black  hill  range  taking  a  western 
course  for  a  long  distance  into  an  uneven  vally  whare  a  large  portion 
of  (of)  the  waters  are  sunk  or  absorbd  then  turning  short  to  the  east 
it  enters  the  Black  hill  rang  th[r]ough  a  narrow  Kenyon  in  appeareantly 
the  highest  and  most  abrupt  part  of  the  mountain  enclosed  in  immence 
cliffs  of  the  most  pure  and  BeautifuU  black  smooth  and  shining  [slate] 
and  perhaps  five  hunded  to  one  thousand  feet  high  how  [far]  this  slate 
extends  I  cannot  tell  We  passe  [d]  through  this  slate  Quary  about  2 
miles  and  one  of  the  men  observed  here  or  at  some  such  place  Mosses 
must  have  obtain^  the  plates  or  tables  on  which  the  declogue  was  in- 
scirobed  some  miles  farther  west  I  visited  [a]  place  of  a  different 
character  containing  Quite  a  grove  of  Petrifid  timber  standing  laying 
and  inclining  at  various  angles  one  stub  in  Perticular  wa[s]  so  high  that 
I  could  barely  lay  my  hand  on  the  top  sitting  in  the  saddle  the  body 
and  main  branches  scatered  on  the  ground  dismouted  and  picked 
up  several  fragments  which  ware  so  hard  as  to  bring  fire  f  [r]om  steeF 
A  Mountaneer  named  [Moses]  Harris^  being  St  Louis  some  yers  after 
undertook  to  describe  some  of  the  strange  things  seen  in  the  mountains 
spoke  of  this  petrified  grove  in  a  restaurant  whare  a  caterer  for  one 
of  the  dailys  was  prese[n]t  and  the  next  morning  his  exagerated  state- 

'''  Fossil  logs  are  found  in  various  places  in  the  foothills  of  the  Black.  Hills. 

Dr.  V.  T.  McGillycuddy,  former  Indian  Agent  at  Pine  Ridge  Agency,  South 
Dakota,  concludes,  after  reading  this  section  of  the  account,  that  the  party 
probably  crossed  over  the  southern  portion  of  the  Black  Hills  and  struck  the  head- 
waters of  the  South  Fork  of  the  Cheyenne. 

It  is  likely  that  Jedediah  Smith's  party  was  the  first  to  traverse  the  Black 
Hills  of  Dakota,  the  scene  of  that  great  gold  rush  in  the  seventies  which  led  to 
serious  Indian  troubles  and  culminated  in  the  Custer  fight.  The  Astorians  probably 
went  to  the  north  of  Smith's  route. 

s  This  old  story  is  accredited  to  Harris  by  two  other  writers,  P.  H.  Burnett  and 
George  F.  Ruxton. 

Harris  was  probably  not  present  at  this  time.  He  is  mentioned  by  Beck- 
wourth  as  having  been  in  Ashley's  employ  in  the  Pawnee  country  in  October  of  this 
year.     He  figures  later,  in  Clyman's  diaries  of  1844. 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  27 

ment  came  out  saying  a  petrified  forest  was  lately  di[s]  covered  whare 
the  trees  branches  leaves  and  all  were  perfect  and  the  small  birds  sitting 
on  them  with  their  mouths  open  singing  at  the  time  of  their  transforma- 
tion to  stone  This  is  a  fine  country  for  game  Buffaloe  Elk  Bare  deer 
antelope  &c  likewise  it  produces  some  Hazel  nuts  Plumbs  white  thorn 
Berries  wild  currant  large  and  of  fine  flavour  and  abundance  of  nutri- 
cious  grass  and  some  land  that  would  bear  cultivation  after  remain- 
ing here  ten  days  or  2  weeks  the  cap*.  Began  to  ride  out  a  few  miles 
and  as  winter  was  rapidly  approaching  we  began  to  make  easy  travel 
west  ward  and  Struck  the  trail  of  Shian  Indians  the  next  day  we 
came  to  their  village  traded  and  swaped  a  few  horses  with  them  and 
continued  our  march  across  a  Ridge  [of]  mountains  not  steep  &  rocky 
(in  general)  but  smooth  and  grassy  in  general  with  numerous  springs 
and  brook  of  pure  water  and  well  stocked  with  game  dsending  this 
ridge  we  came  to  the  waters  of  Powder  River  Running  West  and  north 
country  mountainous  and  some  what  rockey 

"Rose  with  15  or  16  Crow  Indians  came  to  our  camp  as  soon  as 
we  raised  a  fire  in  the  evening  they  had  been  watching  for  two  days 
passed  to  assure  themselves  that  no  Shians  were  with  us  they  and 
the  Shians  being  at  war  they  the  Crows  brought  us  several  spare 
Horses  which  relieved  our  Broke  down  animals  and  gave  us  a  chance 
to  ride  but  they  caused  us  to  travel  to  fast  for  our  poor  horses  and 
so  Cap*  Smith  gave  them  what  they  could  pack  sending  Rose  with  them 
and  we  followed  at  our  own  gait  stoping  and  Traping  for  beaver 
occasionly  Crossing  several  steep  and  high  ridges  which  in  any  other 
country  would  be  called  mountains  Crossed  Shell  river  Quite  a  stream 
running  into  the  bighorn  as  I  believe  the  mountains  here  do  not 
appear  to  have  any  rigular  direction  but  run  in  all  directions  are 
tolerable  high  but  not  generall  precipitous  Before  l[e]aving  this  per- 
ticular  Region  I  think  it  the  Best  Supp[l]ied  with  game  of  any  we 
passe  [d]  through  in  all  our  Travels  and  therefore  do  not  wonder  that 
the  Indian  would  not  give  it  up  and  if  it  is  not  too  cold  there  some 
soil  that  will  bear  cultivation  we  ware  there  through  the  month 
of  November  the  nights  war  frosty  but  the  days  ware  generally  warm 
and  pleasant  on  Tongue  river  we  struck  the  trail  of  the  (of  the)  Crow 
Indians  Passed  over  another  ridge  of  mountains  we  came  on  to  Wind 
River  which  is  merely  another  name  for  the  Big  horn  above  [south  of] 
the  Big  horn  Mountain  the  most  of  this  Region  is  barren  and  worth- 
less if  my  recollection  is  right  from  the  heads  of  the  Shian  untill  we 
came  on  to  Wind  river  we  ware  Bountifully  supplied  with  game  but 
here  we  found  none  at  all  two  causes  may  be  assigned  for  this 
first  the  country  not  being  well  supplied  naturely  an  Second  the  Crows 


haveing  passed  recntly  through  they  had  killed  and  drove  off  all  the 
game  in  our  reach  our  meals  being  few  and  far  betwen  our  only  hope 
being  to  push  a  head  and  overtake  the  Crow  village  The  weather 
being  cold  and  blustry  and  I  thought  the  River  was  well  named 
slight  Snows  and  Strong  north  winds  prevailed  continually  our  horses 
and  urselves  became  completely  exausted  before  we  reached  the  main 
Encampment  Still  passing  up  Wind  river  untill  we  came  immediately 
north  of  Freemont  peak  [later  so  named]  on  the  Wind  River  Mountain, 
whare  we  halted  for  the  winter.  The  vally  is  here  narrow  and  uneven 
but  tolerable  well  set  in  grass  and  Buffalo  plenty  at  the  time  of  our 
arival  several  grand  hunts  taking  place  which  being  the  first  I  had 
witnessed  I  will  attempt  to  give  some  description  the  whole  grown 
male  population  turning  out  Early  in  the  morning  and  taking  rank 
along  on  eeach  side  of  a  narrow  vally  those  on  fleetest  horses  taking  a 
circuit  and  getting  behind  a  large  herd  Bufflo  drove  them  pell  mell 
down  the  vally  those  Stationed  on  the  sides  falling  in  as  they  passed 
they  run  down  the  Buff  aloe  so  that  [the]  old  and  slow  could  catch  them 
and  even  men  on  foot  Killed  them  with  Bow  and  Arrow  the  Squaws 
old  men  and  children  following  and  Buchering  and  secureing  meat  and 
skins  as  fast  as  possible  the  night  after  this  grand  hunt  not  more  than 
half  the  people  came  in  to  camp  they  remaining  out  to  watch  the 
wolves  fom  the  meat  untill  they  could  get  it  packed  in  d  [r]  ying  now 
commenced  on  a  grand  scale  and  wood  was  in  demand 

*'In  a  few  days  we  moved  a  short  distance  to  whare  wood  was  more 
plenty  and  had  another  gran  hunt  after  which  individuals  ware  allowed 
to  hunt  at  their  pleasure  all  though  this  vally  is  in  heart  of  the 
rocky  Mountain  range  Snow  did  not  fall  deep  and  every  Clear  day  it 
thawed  whare  the  sun  struck  fairly  In  the  second  grand  chase  I  did 
not  go  out  on  horseback  as  in  the  first  but  took  it  on  foot  with  the 
foot  men  the  day  being  too  cold  for  pleasant  riding  we  proceeded  to 
the  lower  part  of  the  vally  whare  the  stream  that  passes  through  the 
vally  enters  a  narrow  Kenyon  it  being  6  or  7  miles  from  whare  the  race 
commenced  and  standing  on  a  cliff  nea[r]ly  ove[r]  the  buffaloe  vye  had 
rare  Sport  shooting  them  on  enquiry  as  to  how  many  ware  slaughterd 
that  day  every  one  said  a  thousand  or  upwards  thi[s]  I  did  not  dis- 
pute thinking  it  fell  near  the  fact  myself  and  about  20  Indians  who 
stood  on  the  rocks  of  [the]  Kenyon  Killed  Seventy  by  my  own  count 
It  is  remarkable  the  amount  of  cold  these  Crows  can  withstand  I  have 
frequently  seen  them  dozens  of  them  runing  bufaloe  on  horseback  for 
hours  togather  all  their  bodies  naked  down  to  the  belt  around  their 
waists  and  dismount  with  but  a  slight  trimble  and  many  of  them  take  a 
bath  every  morning  even  whn  the  hoar  frost  was  flying  thick  in  the  air 
and  it  was  necessary  to  cut  holes  in  the  ice  to  get  at  the  water 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  29 

"They  put  thier  children  to  all  kinds  of  hardships  and  the  femals 
in  particular  pack  the  littl  girls  and  dogs  when  on  march  the  whole 
employment  of  the  males  being  hunting  and  war  and  at  the  time  we 
ware  there  at  least  one  third  of  the  warriors  ware  out  in  war  parties 
in  different  directions  they  being  in  a  state  of  warfare  with  all  the 
neighbouring  tribes  in  February  [1824]  we  made  an  effort  to  cross  the 
mountains  north  of  the  wind  River  [ra]nge  but  found  the  snow  too 
deep  and  had  to  return  and  take  a  Southern  course  east  of  the  wind 
river  range  which  is  here  the  main  Rockey  mountans  and  the  main 
dividing  ridge  betwen  the  Atlantic  and  Pacific 

**In  traveling  up  the  Popo  Azia  a  tributary  of  Wind  River  we  came 
to  an  oil  springe  neare  the  main  Stream  whose  surface  was  completely 
covered  over  with  oil  resembling  Brittish  oil  and  not  far  from  the 
same  place  ware  stacks  [of]  Petrolium  of  considerable  bulk.^  Buff- 
aloe  being  scarce  our  supply  of  food  was  Quite  scanty  Mr  Sublett  and 
my  self  mounted  our  horses  one  morning  and  put  in  quest  of  game 

we  rode  on  utill  near  sundown  when  we  came  in  sight  of  three  male 
bufalo  in  a  verry  open  and  exposed  place  our  horses  being  too  poor 
to  run  we  made  an  effort  to  aproach  them  by  crawling  over  the  ice  and 
snow  but  our  game  saw  us  and  was  about  to  brake  when  we  arose  and 
fired  luckeyly  we  broke  ones  Shoulder  had  we  had  our  horses  at 
hand  so  as  to  mount  and  follow^  we  would  soon  [have]  had  meat  but 
our  horses  ware  narely  a  mile  Distant  so  Sublett  went  back  for  our 
horses  and  I  loaded  my  rifle  and  followed  the  wounded  buffalo  there 
being  an  uneven  riadge  about  a  mile  distant  in  the  direction  the  game 
went  and  (and)  my  hope  was  to  head  him  there  and  git  another  shot 
I  ran  with  all  my  speed  and  fortunately  when  I  came  out  of  cover  was 
in  easy  gun  shot  when  all  breathless  mearly  pointing  my  [gun]  in 
the  direction  of  the  game  to  my  surprise  I  gave  him  a  dead  Shot  bi- 
fore  I  could  reload  he  fell  dead  in  a  steep  gutter  whare  I  could  not 
commence  butcering  untill  Sublett  came  up  to  assist  me  night  came 
on  before  we  got  our  meat  buchered  we  gatherd  some  dry  sage  and 
struck  a  light  by  which  we  got  of  [f]  a  small  Quantity  of  meat  Short- 
ly after  the  sun  left  us  the  North  wind  arose  and  grew  stronger  and 
stronger  and  a  cold  frosty  snow  commenced  falling  before  [we]  finished 
our  suppers  there  being  no  wood  and  sage  being  small  and  scarce  and 
scattering  what  little  fire  we  had  in  all  directions  we  spread  down  our 
scanty  bed  and  covered  ourselves  as  close  as  possbele  from  the  wind  and 
snow  which  found  its  way  through  ever[y]  crevice 

"Allthough  the  wind  blew  and  the  fine  frosty  snow  crept  in  and 
around  us  this  was  not  the  worst  for  the  cold  hard  frozen  earth  on  which 

9  Vicinity  of  Lander,  Wyoming,  now  an  oil  field. 


we  lay  was  still  more  disagreeabl  so  that  sleep  was  out  of  the  Que[s]  tion 
by  turning  every  method  for  rest  day  light  at  last  apeared  when  we 
consulted  what  we  had  best  do  under  the  circumstances  and  it  was 
agre[ed]  that  I  should  arise  and  gather  some  sage  brush  which  was  small 
and  scarce  and  [Sublette]  wold  remain  under  the  Buffaloe  robe  and 
keep  his  hands  warm  if  posibl  to  strike  fire  but  all  our  calculations 
failed  for  as  soon  [as]  our  hands  became  exposed  to  the  air  they  became 
so  numb  that  we  could  not  hold  thee  flint  and  Steel  we  then  [took] 
re[c]ourse  to  our  guns  with  no  better  Success  for  the  wind  was  So 
strong  and  for  the  want  of  some  fine  metireal  to  catch  the  fire  in 
we  or  my  comrade  raped  himslf  in  his  robe  and  laid  down  after  a 
great  struggle  I  made  out  to  saddle  my  hor  [s]  e  and  was  about  to  leave 
the  inhospitable  [place]  not  wishing  to  leave  my  friend  I  asked  him 
if  he  Could  ride  if  I  saddled  his  horse  but  he  thought  not  and  was  un- 
willing to  try  I  then  made  several  unsuccesful  efforts  to  obtain  fire 
Just  as  I  was  about  to  mount  and  leave  I  run  my  hand  in  the  ashes 
to  see  if  any  warmth  remained  to  my  Joy  found  a  small  cole  of  fire 
alive  not  larger  than  a  grain  of  Corn  throwing  it  in  to  [a]  hand  full 
of  metirial  I  had  gathered  it  starte[d]  a  blaze  in  a  minuit  and  in  one 
minuit  more  I  had  a  fine  fire  my  friend  got  out  and  crawled  up  to 
my  side  drawing  our  robe  around  our  backs  we  tried  to  warm  our- 
selves but  the  wind  being  so  strong  the  smoke  and  fire  came  into  our 
faces  by  the  back  current  I  sadled  the  other  hors  packed  up  the 
meat  while  Sublet  gathered  sagebrush  to  keep  up  a  fire  which  was  no 
little  Job  for  [it  was]  carried  away  allmost  a[s]  fast  as  he  put  it 
on  at  length  we  mounted  and  left  I  put  my  friend  ahead  and 
followed  urging  his  horse  along  We  had  about  four  miles  to  timber 
I  found  I  would  be  liable  to  freeze  on  ho[r]seback  so  I  got  of  and 
walked  it  being  a  north  inclination  the  snow  was  about  one  foot 
deep  I  saw  my  friend  was  too  nmnb  to  walk  so  I  took  the  lead 
for  the  last  half  mile  and  struck  a  grove  of  timber  whare  there  was 
an  old  Indian  [lodge]  but  one  side  of  which  was  still  standing  I 
got  fire  allmost  Immediately  then  ran  back  and  whoped  up  my 
friends  horse  assisted  him  to  dismount  and  get  to  the  fire  he 
seemed  to  [have]  no  life  to  move  as  usual  he  laid  down  nearly 
assleep  while  I  went  Broiling  meat  on  a  stick  after  awile  I  roused 
him  up  and  gave  him  his  Breakfast  when  he  (he)  came  to  and  was 
as  active  as  usual 

*'I  have  been  thus  particular  in  discribing  one  night  near  the  sumit 
of  the  Rockey  mountai[n]s  allthough  a  number  simular  may  and 
often  do  occur 

"We  [the  entire  party]  now  moved  over  a  low  ridge  and  Struck  on 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  31 

Sweet  Water  Since  assertained  to  be  a  tributary  of  the  Platte  river 
it  was  cold  and  clear  the  evening  that  we  encamped  on  Sweet  water 
many  of  [the]  South  sides  of  the  hills  ware  bare  of  Snow  Buffalo 
scarce  and  rations  limited  some  time  in  the  night  the  wind  arose 
to  a  hericane  direct  from  the  north  and  we  had  [to]  Keep  awake  and 
hold  on  to  our  blankets  and  robes  to  keep  them  from  flying  away 
in  the  morning  we  gathered  a  large  pile  of  dry  pine  logs  and  fixed  up 
our  blankets  against  the  wind  but  the  back  current  brought  all  the 
smoke  and  ashes  into  our  faces  in  fifteen  or  twenty  minuets  after 
taking  down  our  Screen  ou[r]  fire  blew  intirely  away  and  left  us  the 
wood  but  no  fire  we  then  cleared  away  the  snow  imder  the  lea 
of  a  clump  of  willows  fixed  ourselves  as  comfortable  as  circum- 
stances would  permit  laid  to  sleep  the  wind  still  blowing  all  day 
and  night  without  abatement  the  next  morning  several  of  us  wrapt 
ourselves  in  our  robes  and  (and)  attempted  to  take  some  exercise 
following  down  the  stream  it  became  confined  in  a  narrow  Ken- 
yon^^  under  the  points  of  some  rocks  we  would  be  partly  secure 
from  the  cold  blast  toward  evening  my  companion  Mr  Branch  Saw 
a  mountain  sheep  on  the  rocks  allmost  p>erpedicular  over  us  and  fired 
at  him  had  the  good  luck  to  hit  him  when  he  came  tumbling  down 
to  our  feet  we  soon  prepared  him  and  packed  him  to  camp  whare 
efforts  were  made  to  broil  small  pieces  but  soon  gave  it  up  the  wind 
still  keeping  up  such  a  continual  blast  as  to  prevent  even  a  starving 
mountaneer  from  satisfying  his  hunger  we  all  took  to  our  blankets 
again  it  being  the  only  way  to  keep  from  perishing  the  blast  being  so 
strong  and  cold  Late  in  the  night  however  the  lull  came  on  and 
being  awake  I  arose  and  found  it  Quite  comfortable  I  struck  up  a 
fire  and  commenced  cooking  and  eating  by  broiling  thin  slices  of 
meat  after  a  short  time  my  comrades  began  to  arise  and  we  talked 
cooked  eat  the  remainder  of  the  night  <  in  the  morning  we  started 
out  in  various  directions  some  to  look  for  game  and  some  to  look  for 
more  comfortable  Quarters  our  prsent  camp  being  close  to  the  East 
foot  of  the  wind  River  mountain  and  on  a  low  divide  directly  south 
of  the  Wind  rever  vally  having  a  full  sweep  for  the  North  Wind 
[which]  Caused  us  such  [an]  uncomfortab  [1]  e  time  Two  pa  [r]  ties 
proceeded  one  in  Quest  of  game  the  other  for  a  camping  ground 
I  went  down  the  sweet  water  some  four  or  five  miles  to  whare  the 
Kenyon  opened  out  into  Quite  a  valley  and  found  plenty  of  dry  aspin 
wood  in  a  small  grove  at  the  Lower  end  of  the  Kenyon  and  likewise 
plenty  of  Mountain  Sheep  on  the  cliffs  which  bounded  the  stream  one 
of  which  I  had  the  luck  to  kill  and  which  I  Buried  in  a  snowdrift 

10  Later  known  to  the  emigrants  as  the  "Three  Crossings." 


the  next  morning  we  packed  up  and  moved  down  to  the  Aspin  grove 
whare  we  remained  some  two  or  three  weeks  Subsisting  on  Mountain 
sheep  on  our  way  to  our  new  camp  we  ware  overtaken  by  one  of 
the  heaviest  falls  of  snow  that  I  ever  witnessed  with  but  verry  slight 
wind  the  snow  came  down  in  one  perfect  sheet  but  fortunately 
it  did  not  las[t]  but  a  short  time  and  we  made  our  camp  in  good 
season  as  I  before  said  we  did  not  leave  this  camp  untill  the  Moun- 
tain Sheep  began  to  get  scarce  and  wild  and  before  leaving  we  here 
made  a  cash  of  Powder  Lead  and  several  other  articles  supposed  to 
be  not  needed  in  our  Springs  hunt  and  it  was  here  likewise  understood 
that  should  circumstances  at  any  time  seperate  us  we  would  meet  at 
this  place  and  at  (and)  all  event  we  would  all  met  here  again  or  at 
some  navigable  point  on  the  stream  below  at  or  by  the  first  [of]  June 
acording  to  our  recording^^  on  leaving  sweet  water  we  struck  in 
a  south  westerly  direction  this  being  some  of  the  last  days  of  February 
I  think  in  1825  [1824]  our  stock  of  dried  meat  being  verry  scant 
we  soon  run  out  entirely — no  game  to  be  found  It  appears  this 
winter  was  extremely  dry  and  cold  one  fourth  of  the  g[r]ound  on 
those  ridges  south  of  Sweetwater  being  entirely  bare  from  the  effect 
of  strong  west  winds  which  carried  the  snow  over  to  the  East  and  south 
sides  of  the  ridges  about  sixth  morning  out  Mr  Sublette  and  my- 
self ware  in  the  advance  looking  out  for  game  a  few  antelope  had 
been  see[n]  the  evening  previous  a  slight  snow  falling  we  came 
on  the  fresh  track  of  a  buffalo  and  supposing  he  could  not  be  far  off 
we  started  full  speed  after  him  in  running  about  a  mile  we  came  in 
sight  of  him  laying  down  the  animal  being  thick  a[nd]  hevy  it 
[was]  difficult  to  hit  a  vital  part  when  he  is  laying  down  we  con- 
sulted as  to  the  surest  way  [of]  disabling  him  and  came  to  the  con- 
cusion  that  I  fire  at  the  rump  and  if  posible  breake  his  coupling  while 
Sublett  would  fire  at  his  Shoulder  and  disable  him  in  forward  parts 
so  we  [a]  greed  Sublett  counting  one  two  three  while  we  both  drew 
aim  and  both  pull  trigger  at  the  word  fire  when  both  of  our  rifles  went 
of  simutan[eo]u[sly]  and  both  effected  what  we  desired  the  animal 
strugling  to  rise  but  could  not  Sublett  beat  me  in  reloading  and 
approached  and  shot  him  in  the  head  Just  as  the  company  came  in 
sight  on  a  hight  of  land  when  they  all  raised  a  Shout  of  Delight  at 
[the]  sight  many  not  having  tasted  food  for  four  days  &  none  of  us 
from  two  to  three  now  you  may  suppose  we  had  a  happy  time  in 

J''  1^  Thus  were  arrangements  made  for  the  first  "rendezvous"  Ashley's  moun- 

<r  taineers  ever  held. 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  33 

[The  account  from  this  point  is  in  the  handwriting  of  Clyman's  daughter,  Mrs. 
Tallman.  She  copied  it  from  the  story  which  Clyman  wrote  down,  day  by  day, 
upon  his  slate  in  1879.] 

"Our  company  coming  up  we  butchered  our  meat  in  short 
order  many  of  the  men  eating  large  slices  raw  we  packed  up  our 
meat  &  traveled  on  untill  in  the  afternoon  in  hopes  of  finding  water 
but  did  not  succeed  but  finding  large  clumps  of  sage  brush  we  camped 
all  eaving  &  part  of  the  night  continuing  on  we  found  we  had  crossed 
the  main  ridge  [South  Pass]^^  of  the  Rocky  mountan  in  the  month 
of  January  [February]  15  days  without  water  or  only  such  as  we  got 
from  melting  snow  our  horses  eating  snow  and  living  fairly  when  beaver 
ground  was  found  although  we  struck  Sandy  [River]  about  noon  some 
of  the  men  went  immediatly  to  cutting  the  ice  with  thier  Toma- 
hauks  called  out  frose  to  the  bottom  I  walked  down  they  had 
got  down  the  length  of  thier  arms  and  was  about  to  give  it  up  I 
pulled  out  one  of  my  pistols  and  fired  in  to  the  hole  up  came  the 
water  plentifull  for  man  &  horse  there  being  a  small  growth  of 
willows  along  the  stream  we  had  wood  &  water  plenty  but  our  supply 
of  meat  had  given  out  passed  down  the  stream  on[e]  day  in 
the  eavning  a  buffalo  was  killed  and  we  were  all  happy  for  the  pre- 
sent this  stream  and  one  other  we  passd  and  on  the  20***  of  Feb- 
ruary we  reached  Green  river  where  I  had  the  luck  to  kill  two  wild 
\/  geese  here  Capt  Smith  with  seven  men  left  us  he  going  farther 
south  we  left  to  trap  on  the  branches  of  the  stream  as  soon  as  the 
ice  gave  way  in  a  few  day[s]  wild  geese  became  plenty  on  thawy 
&  Springy  places  the  ice  giving  way  we  found  beaver  plenty  and  we 
commenced  trapping  We  found  a  small  family  of  diggers  or  Sho- 
shone Indians  on  our  trapping  ground  whom  we  feed  with  the  overplus 
of  Beaver  the  snow  disapearing  our  diggar  friends  moved  off  with- 
out our  knowledge  of  when  or  where  and  when  they  had  gone  our 
horses  runing  loose  on[e]  night  they  all  disapeared  and  we  were  un- 
able to  find  them  or  in  what  direction  they  had  gone  we  continued 
trapping  on  foot  with  fair  success  for  about  six  weeks  when  the  10*^ 
of  June  was  drawing  close  and  we  had  promised  all  who  were  alive 
to  meet  at  our  cash  on  Sweet  Water  accordingly  we  cashed  traps 
&  furs  hung  our  saddle  &  horse  equipments  on  trees  &  set  out  for 
Sweet  water  the  same  day  about  noon  on  turning  the  point  of  a 
ridge  we  meet  face  to  face  with  five  &  six  Indians  mounted  on  some  of 
our  horses  preparing  to  take  possesion  of  as  many  horses  each  on[e] 
taking  hold  of  a  lariet  and  ordering  our  friens  to  dismount  but  after 
a  short  consultation  we  decided  to  go  with  them  to  thier  camp  about 

^^  See  entry  in  Clyman's  diary  of  Aug.  20,  1844,  p.  90. 


one  mile  up  a  steep  mountain  where  we  found  six  lodges  18  men  with 
a  large  supply  of  squaws  &  children  &  our  old  acquaintences  that 
we  had  fed  with  the  fat  of  Beaver  while  the  earth  was  thickly  covered 
with  snow  we  made  our  camp  on  rising  ground  in  easy  gunshot  of 
thier  village  all  our  horses  wer  given  up  but  one  and  we  concluded 
this  one  was  hid  in  the  mountain  so  we  caught  one  of  the  men  tied 
him  fast  told  them  we  intended  to  kill  him  if  our  horse  was  not  given 
back  which  soon  brought  him  we  gave  them  a  few  presents  and 
left  for  our  old  camp  dug  up  our  cashe  cut  down  our  saddles  and 
again  started  for  Sweet  water  this  brought  us  to  the  15*^  of  June 
no  sight  of  Smith  or  his  party  ^  remaining  here  a  few  days  Fitzpatrick 
&  myself  mounted  &  fowling  [following]  down  stream  some  15  miles 
we  concluded  the  stream  was  unna[vi]  gable  it  beeing  generally  broad 
&  Shallow  and  all  our  bagga[g]e  would  have  to  be  packed  to  some 
navigable  point  below  where  I  would  be  found  waiting  my  comrades 
who  would  not  be  more  than  three  or  four  days  in  the  rear  I  moved 
slowly  down  stream  three  days  to  the  mouth  where  it  enters  the  North 
Piatt  Sweetwater  is  generally  bare  of  all  kind  of  timber  but  here 
near  the  mouth  grew  a  small  thick  clump  of  willoes  in  this  1  cut  a 
lodging  place  and  geathered  some  driftwood  for  a  fire  which  I  was  just 
preparing  to  strike  fire  I  heard  human  voices  on  the  stream  below 
carfuly  watching  I  saw  a  number  of  Indians  advance  up  along  the 
opisite  side  of  the  stream  being  here  about  4  rods  wide  they  come  up 
&  all  stoped  on  the  other  side  there  being  a  lot  of  dry  wood  they 
soon  raised  4  or  5  fires  turned  loose  or  tithered  all  their  horses  thier 
being  22  Indians  and  30  horses  I  did  not  feel  myself  perfectly  safe 
with  so  large  number  a  war  party  in  my  rear  vacinity  recoclecting  that 
for  ^  mile  back  the  country  was  bare  &  sandy  the  moon  a  few  days 
before  the  full  I  could  be  trased  as  easly  as  if  it  had  been  snow  so 
I  walked  backward  across  the  sandy  reagon  out  to  a  narrow  rocky 
ridge  &  following  along  the  same  to  where  the  creek  broke  through 
it  I  crossed  over  to  the  east  side  and  climbing  a  high  point  of  rocks 
I  had  a  fair  vew  of  my  disagreeable  neighbors  at  about  40  rods  dis- 
tance some  of  them  lay  down  and  slept  while  some  others  kept  up 
the  fire  about  midnight  they  all  arose  collected  up  thier  horses 
too  of  the  horses  crossed  over  the  creek  two  Indians  on  horse  back 
folowed  after  when  a  shout  was  raised  &  eight  or  ten  mounted  went 
to  assist  hunting  the  fugitives  after  an  hours  ride  backward  &  far- 
word  they  gave  up  &  all  started  of  north  I  crawled  down  from  my 
pearch  &  caught  a  few  moments  of  cool  feverish  sleep.  next  day  I 
surveyed  the  canyon  [Devil's  Gate]  through  which  the  river  passes 
fearfuly  swift  without  any  perpendicular  fall      while  on  one  of  the 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  35 

high  cliffs  I  discovered  about  20  Ind[ians]  approach  the  stream  right 
where  I  had  left  a  bout  halfhour  before  all  on  foot  they  soon  mad 
a  small  raft  of  driftwood  on  which  they  piled  their  war  equipments  & 
clothes  swam  the  stream  and  went  South  I  returned  to  my  observa- 
tory on  Sweetwater  I  remained  in  this  vacinity  eleven  days  heard 
nothing  of  my  party  began  to  get  lonsome  examened  my  store  of 
amuniton  found  I  had  plenty  of  Powder  but  only  eleven  bullets 
reconitering  all  the  curcumstances  in  my  mind  I  thought  if  I  spent  a 
week  in  trying  to  find  my  old  companions  &  should  not  be  lucky  enough 
to  meet  with  them  I  would  not  have  balls  enough  to  take  me  to  civili- 
sation &  not  knowing  whither  I  was  on  Piatt  or  the  Arkansas  on  the  12*** 
day  in  the  afternoon  I  left  my  look  out  at  the  mouth  of  Sweetwater 
and  proceeded  down  stream  knowing  that  civil  [izjation  could  be  reached 
Eastward  the  days  were  quite  warm  &  I  had  to  keep  near  the  water 
nothing  occured  for  several  day  worth  mentioning  at  length  I  found  a 
bull  boat  lying  drifted  up  on  a  sand  bar  and  the  marks  of  a  large  Indian 
ranch  on  the  main  shore  I  knew  by  the  boat  some  white  men  had 
[been]  here  for  the  Indians  never  made  such  boats  this  gave  me  a 
fient  hope  of  meeting  some  white  men  in  this  Indian  world  but  con- 
tinuing down  stream  several  days  I  saw  several  persons  running  Buff- 
alow  on  the  hills  on  the  other  side  of  the  river  but  to  far  to  tell  who 
they  were  Great  herds  of  Buffalo  were  drivin  across  the  river  right 
around  me  I  shot  one  and  dried  some  meat  remained  here  two 
days  in  hopes  of  meeting  some  human  beeing  even  a  friendly  Indian 
would  be  a  relief  to  my  solitude  but  no  person  appearing  I  moved  off 
down  stream  some  two  or  three  days  after  [this]  I  came  into  a  grove 
of  large  old  cottonwoods  where  a  number  of  village  Martins  were  nesting 
"I  laied  down  in  the  shade  and  enjoyed  their  twittering  for  some 
hours  it  reminded  me  of  home  &  civilisation  I  saw  a  number  of 
wild  horses  on  the  [prairie?]  and  I  thought  I  would  like  to  ride  there 
is  what  hunters  call  "creasing";  this  is  done  by  shooting  the  animal 
through  the  neck  close  above  the  main  bone  this  stuns  them  for  a 
minute  or  more  The  next  buffalo  I  killed  I  made  a  halter,  I  was 
forced  to  keep  near  the  watter  for  there  were  no  springs  or  streams  on 
the  plain.  A  line  black  stallion  came  down  to  drink  and  beeing  in 
close  gun  shot  I  fired  as  soon  as  he  had  gained  the  main  bank  he  fell 
&  I  ran  up  &  haltered  him  but  he  never  moved  for  his  neck  was  broken 
so  I  missed  my  wild  ride  still  continuing  my  journy  at  length  I  came 
to  a  large  recent  lodge  trail  crossing  the  stream  I  thought  it  would  be 
plesent  to  communicate  with  humans  even  though  it  were  Indians  so  I 
plunged  into  the  stream  and  crossed  over  the  water  was  only  breast 
deep  any  where      the  villiag  was  about  two  miles  out  in  the  hills 


on  my  approach  to  them  I  did  not  attract  thier  attention  untill  within 
a  few  rods  of  thier  lodges  when  a  lot  of  men  &  boys  came  running  up  to 
me  yelling  most  hidously  when  one  man  ran  up  &  snatched  my  butcher 
knife  and  waved  it  across  my  breast  I  thought  this  a  bravado  so 
bared  my  breast  for  the  fated  streike  &  this  perhaps  saved  my  life  for 
he  immediatly  commensed  taking  such  things  as  suited  him  others  taking 
my  blankets  then  all  my  balls  firesteel  &  flint  another  untied  my 
powder  into  a  rag  when  one  or  two  cam  rapedly  up  on  horseback  then 
they  all  left  one  of  the  mounted  me[n]  talking  very  loud  &  rapidly 
then  he  ordered  me  to  mount  behing  him  which  I  was  glad  to  do  he 
took  me  to  his  lodge  and  gave  me  to  understand  that  I  must  not  roam 
around  any  for  some  of  them  were  bad  and  would  kill  me  I  remained 
in  his  lodge  all  night  and  after  the  morning  meal  he  had  three  horses 
broght  he  &  his  son  each  mounted  one  and  told  me  to  mount  the 
other  he  rode  forward  his  son  in  the  rear  we  rode  basck  over  the 
river  &  about  two  miles  on  the  trail  where  I  dismounted  and  went  on  a 
foot  again  they  sitting  on  thier  horses  watched  me  untill  I  had  passed 
over  half  mile  when  they  returned,  my  hair  had  not  been  cut  since  I 
left  St  Louis  I  lost  my  hat  at  the  defeat  of  the  Arickrees  and  had  been 
bareheaded  ever  since  my  hair  was  quite  long  my  friend  had  beged 
for  my  hair  the  morning  before  we  left  his  lodge  I  had  granted  his 
request  so  he  barbered  me  with  a  dull  butcher  knife  before  leaving 
me  he  made  me  understand  he  loved  me  that  he  had  saved  my  lief  and 
wanted  the  hair  for  a  memento  of  me  as  soon  as  my  friends  were 
fairly  out  of  sight  I  left  the  trail  fearing  some  unfriendly  Indian  the 
grass  was  thick  and  tall  which  made  it  hard  to  brake  through  so  I  fre- 
quently took  ridges  which  led  me  from  my  course  the  second  day  in 
the  afternoon  I  came  to  a  pool  of  water  under  an  oak  tree  drank 
sat  down  under  the  shade  a  short  time  ate  a  few  grains  of  parched 
corn  (which  my  friends  had  given  me)  when  I  heard  a  growling  of 
some  animals  near  by  I  advanced  a  few  steps  and  saw  two  Badgers 
fighting  I  aimed  at  one  but  my  gun  missd  fire  they  started  off 
I  geathered  some  bones  (horse  brobly)  ran  after  &  killed  both  I 
struck  fire  with  my  gunlock  skined  &  roasted  them  made  a  bundle 
of  grass  &  willow  bark.  it  rained  all  the  later  part  of  the  night  but  I 
started  early  in  the  morning  the  wet  grass  beeing  more  pleasant  to 
travel  than  the  dry  it  continu[ed]  showery  for  several  days  the 
mosquitos  be  uncommonly  bad  I  could  not  sleep  and  it  got  so  damp 
I  could  not  obtain  fire  and  I  had  to  swim  several  rivers  at  last  I 
struck  a  trail  that  seamed  to  lead  in  the  right  direction  which  I  deter- 
mined to  follow  to  its  extreeam  end  on  the  second  day  in  the  after- 
noon I  got  so  sleepy  &  nervous  that  it  was  with  difficulity  I  kept  the 

NARRATIVE,  1823-24  37 

trail  a  number  of  times  I  tumbled  down  asleep  but  a  quick  nervous 
gerk  would  bring  me  to  my  feet  again  in  one  of  these  fits  I  started 
up  on  the  trail  traveled  some  40  rods  when  I  hapened  to  notise  I  was 
going  back  the  way  I  had  come  turning  right  around  I  went  on  for 
some  time  with  my  head  down  when  raising  my  eyes  with  great  surprise 
I  saw  the  stars  &  stripe  waving  over  Fort  Leavenworth  [Atkinson]  I 
swoned  emmediatly  how  long  I  lay  unconcious  I  do  not  know  I  was  so 
overpowered  with  joy  The  stars  &  stripes  came  so  imexpected  that  I 
was  completly  overcome  being  on  decending  ground  I  sat  contemplating 
the  scene  I  made  several  attemps  to  raise  but  as  often  fell  back  for 
the  want  of  strength  to  stand  after  some  minnites  I  began  to  breathe 
easier  but  certainly  no  man  ever  enjoyed  the  sight  of  our  flag  better 
than  I  did  I  walked  on  down  to  the  fort  there  beeing  no  guard  on 
duty  I  by  axident  came  to  the  door  of  Cap  Rileys  quarters  where  a 
waiter  brought  out  the  Cap  who  conducted  me  to  Generl  Leavenworth 
who  assigned  me  a  company  &  gave  me  a  writen  introduction  to  the 
settelers  where  I  got  credit  for  a  change  of  clothing  some  shoes  &  a 
soldiers  cap  I  remained  here  receiving  rashions  as  a  soldier  for  ten 
days  when  to  my  surprise  Mr  Fitspatrick  Mr  Stone  &  Mr  Brench  arived 
in  a  more  pitible  state  if  possible  than  myself.  Fitspatrick  went  back 
to  the  cashe  after  leaving  me  they  opened  the  cashe  found  the  powder 
somwhat  damp  spread  it  out  to  dry  got  all  ready  to  pack  up  when  Smith 
and  party  arived  the  day  being  quite  warm  the  snow  melted  on  the 
mountains  and  raised  the  water  &  they  came  to  the  conclusion  to  build 
a  boat  there  &  Fitspatrick  Stone  &  Branch  to  get  the  furs  down  the 
best  way  the  could  Cap  Smith  to  take  charge  of  all  the  hunting  & 
traping  and  to  remain  in  the  country  the  season  so  acordingly  they 
made  a  skin  boat  &  Cap  coming  down  on  horsback  to  bring  me  back 
again,  (but  I  was  off  surveying  the  canyon)  he  saw  where  the  Indians 
had  been  where  I  had  cut  my  lodge  in  the  willows  and  not  finding  me 
came  to  the  conclusion  the  Indians  had  killed  me  so  made  that  report  [  ?  ] 
the  three  men  hauld  the  boat  down  stream  untill  it  was  nearly  worn 
out  and  the  water  still  falling  so  they  cashed  the  furs  on  Indipendence 
rock  and  ran  down  into  the  Canyon^^  thier  boat  filled  &  they  lost  two 
of  thier  guns  &  all  of  thier  balls  they  broke  the  Brass  mounting  of 
the  gun  with  rocks  bent  it  into  balls  with  which  they  killed  a  few  buff- 
alo, the  Skin  boat  I  saw  on  the  sand  bar  was  made  by  four  men 
[Colonel  Keemle's  party]  who  crossed  over  from  the  mouth  of  the  Big- 
horn thier  winter  camp  and  landing  on  the  shore  walked  up  into  the 

13  Fitzpatrick  undoubtedly  cached  what  was  left  of  his  furs  at  Independence 
Rock  after  the  boat  was  wrecked.  The  date  could  well  have  been  the  fourth  of 
July,  and  that  is  probably  the  reason  that  Uie  rock  was  so  named. 


valliage  which  proved  to  be  Arickaree  two  of  them  escaped  but  the 
other  two  were  killed  this  [tribe]  afterward  proved  to  be  the  same 
people  I  saw  runing  buffalo  by  axident  I  escaped  from  them  the 
camp  I  waided  the  river  to  meet  were  Pownees  and  here  too  I  bearly 
saved  my  scalp  but  lost  my  hair" 

Father  writes  potery  sometimes  which  [happened]  to  be  copied  here  in  the 

(Mourn  not  dear  friends  to  anguish  deriven 
Thy  children  now  unite  in  Heaven 
Mourn  not  for  them  who  early  blest 
Have  found  in  Heaven  eternal  rest) 

So  ends  this  part  of  the  record. 

Discovery  of  South  Pass 

The  story  of  Jedediah  Smith's  journey  toward  the  mountains  and 
over  the  Great  South  Pass  has  become  confused  in  the  works  of 
Chittenden  and  Dale.  If  we  note  the  information  given  by  Clyman  we 
may  feel  sure  that  Smith,  Fitzpatrick,  Sublette,  Branch,  Stone,  Eddie, 
Rose  and  Clyman  did  not  accompany  Andrew  Henry,  Hugh  Glass, 
Bridger,  Fitzgerald  and  the  others  to  Ashley's  post,  but  struck  out 
directly  over  the  Black  Hills  toward  the  mountains;  also  that  Smith, 
not  Fitzpatrick/^  was  the  leader  of  the  whole  party  until  after  they 
went  through  the  pass. 

Clyman  has  accordingly  added  another  notch  to  the  "coup-stick" 
of  Jedediah  Smith,  who  after  eight  short  years  left  so  remarkable  a 
record  of  achievement  in  exploration.  It  cannot  be  said  for  certain 
that  Smith  and  his  men  were  the  first  Whites  to  traverse  the  South 
Pass,  but  the  probabilities  point  that  way,^^  and,  what  is  equally  impor- 
tant, theirs  was  the  first  expedition  to  make  that  important  highway 

i^John  S.  Robb  (Pseud.  "Sohtaire"),  "Major  Fitzpatrick,  the  Discoverer  of 
the  South  Pass,"  5^.  Louis  Weekly  Reveille,  March  1,  1847, — copy  kindly  fur- 
nished by  Miss  Stella  M.  Drumm.  Robb  states  that  Smith  stayed  behind  with  the 
Crows,  also  that  he  was  "left  in  care  of  two  men"  after  he  was  mauled  by  the 
grizzly.  Robb  also  records  the  fact  that  Colonel  Keemle,  and  the  other  survivors 
of  the  Immel-Jones  massacre  on  the  Yellowstone,  joined  Fitzpatrick  shortly  after 
Smith  was  attacked  by  the  bear.  Keemle  evidently  stayed  with  the  party  until 
they  reached  the  Crow  villages.  Then  Keemle  and  his  men  constructed  bull-boats 
and  attempted  a  voyage  down  the  Platte.  The  boat  Clyman  found  later  was 
doubtless  one  of  theirs.  (Cf.  Edwards  and  Hopewell,  Great  West,  1860,  pp.  171-72 
and  177.) 

15  See  also  Dale,  Ashley-Smith  Explorations,  1918,  pp.  88-96,  182-63.  Alter, 
Jim  Bridger,  1925,  pp.  27-45,  is  inclined  to  give  the  credit  of  discovery  to  Provot 
and  Bridger.  It  may  be  that  Andrew  Henry  used  the  pass  in  1810,  but  it  is  much 
more  likely  that  he  traversed  a  more  direct  route,  probably  the  well  known  pass 
at  the  head  of  Wind  River.  Claims  might  also  be  introduced  for  John  Hunter  and 
for  Rose  and  Charbonneau.  Hunter's  narrative,  however,  is  discredited,  and  the 
accounts  of  Rose's  expeditions  are  more  or  less  legendary.  The  returning  Astorians 
came  very  close  to  the  South  Pass  if  they  did  not  actually  traverse  it. 

\ zn^T 


well  known.  This  discovery  of  the  only  practicable  wagon-route  over 
the  northern  Rockies,  had  a  profound  effect  on  the  future  of  California 
and  the  Northwest  —  an  effect  perhaps  commensurate  in  importance 
with  the  discovery  of  gold  —  for  it  was  the  use  of  this  route  by  the 
emigrants  that  permitted  the  rapid  settling  and  acquisition  of  Oregon, 
the  early  immigration  to  and  subsequent  conquest  of  California,  and 
the  settlement  of  Utah. 

The  immediate  result  of  Fitzpatrick's  letter  to  Ashley  announcing 
the  new-found  pass  was  the  invasion  of  the  transmontane  region  by 
American  trappers,  practically  for  the  first  time  since  the  days  of  the 
Astorians,  and  the  dispatching  of  Smith  overland  to  California  in  quest 
of  new  trapping  grounds.  Ashley's  men  drove  the  first  caravan  and 
wheeled  the  first  cannon  through  the  pass.  The  pass  became  the  great 
highway  for  trappers  and  missionaries,  and  the  rendezvous  came  to  be 
held  annually  in  its  vicinity.  Developing,  as  it  did,  into  the  "Panama 
Canal"  of  central,  transcontinental  traffic,  it  might  well  be  called  the 
Gateway  to  the  West. 

Edward  Rose 

One  of  the  earliest  trappers  in  the  Rockies  was  that  strange,  half- 
savage,  Edward  Rose.  He  had  been  associated  with  Manuel  Lisa  and 
the  Astorians  and  had  difficulties  with  them.  He  played  a  brave  part 
in  the  Ankara  fight  and  accompanied  Smith  and  Clyman  on  the  South 
Pass  expedition  as  far  as  the  Crow  country,  acting  in  the  capacity  of 
interpreter.  He  may  have  had  something  to  do  with  directing  the 
party  toward  the  Pass  as  he  was  the  only  one  among  them  who  had 
been  in  this  region  before.  His  career  is  one  of  the  strangest  and  least 
known  of  any  of  the  early  mountaineers. 

In  the  drama  of  trapping  days  Edward  Rose  played  the  conspicuous 
role  of  heavy  villain.  However,  the  worst  that  can  be  said  of  him  is 
that  through  deceit  and  chicane  he  tricked  the  fur  companies  of  their 
goods  in  order  to  glorify  himself  in  the  eyes  of  the  Indians.  He  could 
not  be  trusted  by  his  employers,  was  quarrelsome  and  dangerous  when 
his  blood  was  up,  and  lived  a  roving,  precarious  existence  among  the 
redskins.  Yet  even  his  worst  enemies  found  his  services  invaluable 
during  Indian  troubles,  and  his  bravery  then  as  at  other  times  often 
rose  to  the  pitch  of  foolhardiness.  He  had  been  called  a  renegade,  but 
he  nevertheless  displayed  a  sort  of  reckless  gallantry  which  brought 
high  praise  from  his  commanders. 

Of  mixed  blood,  part  negro,  Cherokee  and  white,  his  appearance  was 
that  of  an  Indian  —  "black  hair,  changeable  eyes,  and  fiendish  expres- 
sion of  countenance  when  he  chose  it,"  according  to  Captain  Holmes. 


He  is  said  to  have  adopted  for  "stage  effect"  his  haughty  bearing  and 
severe  and  sinister  cast  of  countenance,  an  effect  which  was  in  no  wise 
lessened  by  an  ugly  brand  upon  his  forehead  and  a  nose  with  a  piece 
bitten  from  its  tip.  His  great  strength,  desperate  fearlessness,  and  inti- 
mate knowledge  of  Indian  ways  gained  him  such  prestige  among  the 
Crows  that  he  became  virtually  their  chief. 

Most  of  the  accounts  of  Rose  are  unsatisfactory.  According  to  his 
biographer,  Captain  Reuben  Holmes,^^  he  was  born  near  Louisville, 
Kentucky.  At  the  age  of  seventeen  or  eighteen  he  went  down  to  New 
Orleans  as  a  boatman,  and  in  1806  came  to  St.  Louis,  wintering  on  the 
Osage  River.  In  the  spring  of  1807  he  engaged  with  the  Creole  trader, 
Manuel  Lisa,  to  ascend  the  Missouri,  and  he  helped  to  build  that  ill- 
fated  Fort  Raymond,  called  "Manuel's  Fort,"  at  the  mouth  of  the  Big 
Horn  River. 

Possibly  it  was  with  John  Colter/'^  in  the  spring  of  1808,  that  Lisa 
sent  Rose  into  the  Crow  country  to  barter  for  furs.  The  goods  were 
given  away;  Rose  returned  with  no  beaver;  a  quarrel  ensued,  and  only 
through  the  quick  action  of  John  Potts  was  Lisa  saved  from  the  fury  of 
Rose.  Potts  himself  was  killed  a  few  months  later  at  the  time  of 
Colter's  race  for  life. 

In  the  autumn  of  1809  Andrew  Henry  found  Rose  at  the  Ankara 
village  and  took  him  to  the  mountains  as  an  interpreter  and  trader. 
Here  Rose  again  joined  the  Crows,  adopted  their  dress  and  costume, 
"exchanged  a  favorite  rifle  and  accoutrements  for  a  wife,"  and  became 
literally  one  of  them.  It  was  during  his  third  year  with  this  tribe  that 
he  accomplished  a  feat  which  caused  the  changing  of  his  name  from 
"Cut  Nose"  to  "Five  Scalps." ^^  This  act  of  bravery  was  performed 
during  a  fight  with  the  Minnetarees  under  circumstances  similar  to 
those  of  an  affair  in  which  Jim  Beckwourth  claimed  to  have  taken  part 
some  twenty  years  later;  and  more  will  be  said  of  this  anon. 

It  was  early  in  1811  that  Rose  was  discovered  by  Hunt's  Astorians 
and  engaged  as  interpreter  during  the  time  they  were  in  the  Crow 
country.  Hunt's  fear  of  Rose  is  a  matter  of  record,^^  but  there  may 
have  been  little  cause  for  such  alarm. 

Rose  probably  met  that  subdivision  of  Ezekiel   Williams'  party 

1*5  Holmes,  "Five  Scalps,"  in  St.  Louis  Weekly  Reveille,  July  17  and  24,  1848; 
originally  printed  in  the  St.  Louis  Beacon,  1828, — copy  kindly  furnished  by  Miss 
Stella  M.  Drumm.  Holmes  is  careless  with  his  dates.  Some  of  these  have  been 
corrected  by  reference  to  Luttig's  Journal  of  a  Fur-Trader,  Missouri  Historical 
Society,  1920,  and  some  errors  have  been  detected  by  Mr.  W.  J.  Ghent. 

1'^  For  an  account  of  Colter,  see  W.  J.  Ghent,  Proc.  Calif.  Acad.  Social  Sci., 
pp.  48-57.  Mr.  Ghent  has  told  me  that  he  is  convinced  that  Colter  was  alone  on 
his  trip.  This  is  also  the  opinion  of  Mr.  Stallo  Vinton  in  his  recent  book  on  Colter. 

1^  Holmes,  loc.  cit. 

19  Irving,  Astoria,  1849  ed.,  p.  229. 


which  crossed  the  Rockies  at  the  headwaters  of  the  Platte  in  1812. 
Holmes  says  that  Rose  encountered  "Chabeneau,"  doubtless  Toussaint 
Charbonneau,  in  the  Crow  region,  and  that  the  latter  formed  the  idea 
of  "crossing  over  to  the  Snakes,  with  a  party  then  about  starting,  and 
there  purchase  some  Arapaho  squaws,  prisoners,  for  the  sole  purpose  of 
bringing  them  into  the  trading  establishments  on  the  Missouri,  and 
seling  them  as  wives  to  'engagees'  for  goods"  —  a  disreputable  proceed- 
ing to  say  the  least.  Rose  went  with  Charbonneau  and  is  said  to  have 
taken  advantages  of  that  gentleman's  cowardice  with  some  rather  dan- 
gerous practical  jokes. 

When  Lisa's  two  boats,  on  their  way  up  the  Missouri,  passed  the 
Arikara  village,  in  August,  1812,  Rose  was  there,  painted  and  capari- 
soned as  an  Indian  dandy.  The  meeting  was  naturally  not  an  amicable 
one,  but  Lisa,  perceiving  Rose's  influence  with  the  Indians,  reengaged 
him,  and  sent  him  out  with  an  expedition  in  charge  of  Reuben  Lewis 
to  trap,  and  trade  with  the  Crows  and  Cheyennes.  Engaging  in  more 
of  his  thievery  and  finding  it  therefore  necessary  to  break  with  Lewis, 
Rose  went  out  "on  his  own  hook"  and  "came  upon  a  party  imder 
charge  of  Mr.  John  Dougherty,"  another  of  Lisa's  leaders,  who  was 
trapping  the  Tongue  and  Powder  rivers. 

After  exciting  adventures,  detailed  by  Holmes,  Rose  returned  with 
Dougherty  to  Fort  Manuel  among  the  Arikaras.  Here  they  found  Lisa 
beseiged  by  an  angry  mob  of  Cheyennes.  Rose  was  called  upon  to  assist 
in  quieting  the  Indians. 

In  March  of  1813  he  embarked  with  Lisa  to  return  to  St.  Louis,  but 
the  charms  of  an  Omaha  squaw  defeated  that  purpose  and  he  remained 
behind  with  the  tribe.  After  living  with  them  over  two  years,  com- 
plaints regarding  his  conduct  caused  his  arrest  and  he  was  taken  to 
St.  Louis  in  irons,  leaving  a  wife  and  at  least  two  children. 

He  is  said  to  have  gone  on  to  New  Orleans  in  1816  and  to  have 
joined  a  gang  of  pirates  in  the  Gulf.  Returning  in  1823,  he  joined 
General  Ashley's  boatmen  and,  as  Clyman  indicates,  took  a  conspicuous 
part  in  the  first  Arikara  fight.  He  was  later  appointed  ensign  in  Leaven- 
worth's troops  and  distinguished  himself  by  his  bravery  in  twice  enter- 
ing the  hostile  village. 

After  this.  Rose,  as  already  noticed,  accompanied  Jedediah  Smith's 
party  of  which  Clyman  was  a  member.  They  "left  the  river  at  a  place 
called  the  Big  Bend,  and  in  company  with  a  few  more  of  General 
Ashley's  men  started  for  the  Crows,  among  whom  .  .  .  the  party 
wintered,"  says  Holmes,  confirming  Clyman's  account.  Rose,  as  Clyman 
says,  was  sent  out  in  advance  of  the  party  to  obtain  horses  from  the 
Crows.    After  his  return  he  seems  to  have  associated  himself  more 


closely  with  the  Crows  than  with  Smith's  men.  Although  Clyman  does 
not  say  that  this  resulted  in  any  dissatisfaction  or  distrust  of  his 
services,  yet  it  is  probable,  in  view  of  Rose's  past  conduct,  that  such 
was  the  case.  He  should  have  continued  his  services  as  interpreter 
when  the  trappers  were  trying  to  find  out  from  the  Indians  the  best 
route  across  the  mountains,  but  from  the  following  statement  of  Clyman 
it  is  evident  that  he  did  not:^^ 

We  went  out  to  the  Ogalla  Sioux  to  get  horses,  and  traded  with  them.  Under- 
took to  go  to  the  territory  of  the  Crow  Indians,  found  them  encamped  on  the 
Big  Horn  and  staid  with  them  most  of  the  winter.  We  could  not  talk  to  them,  but 
wanted  information  about  the  country  west  of  them,  but  it  seemed  impossible  to 
obtain  it.  We  bought  their  beaver  which  were  one  main  object  of  the  trip.  I 
spread  out  a  buffalo  robe  and  covered  it  with  sand,  and  made  it  in  heaps  to 
represent  the  different  mountains,  (we  were  then  encamped  at  the  lower  point  of 
the  Wind  River  Mountains)  and  from  our  sand  map  with  the  help  of  the  Crows, 
finally  got  the  idea  that  we  could  go  to  Green  River,  called  by  them  Seeds-ka-day. 
We  undertook  it  in  February  [  1824] . 

Captain  Holmes,  in  his  account  of  Rose,  makes  it  apparent  that  the 
interpreter  was  held  in  suspicion: 

Nothing  could  be  done  without  "Chee-ho-carte"  [meaning  "Five  Scalps," 
Edward  Rose].  Well  does  one  of  the  editors  of  the  Beacon  [Col.  Charles  Keemle] 
remember  the  consideration  in  which  he  was  held.  Well  does  he  recollect  the 
difficulties  that  he  and  Gen.  Ashley's  clerk  [probably  referring  to  James  Clyman] 
had  in  communicating  their  wishes  to  the  Crows,  and  their  still  greater  ones  to 
induce  them  to  adopt  them  unless  "Chee-ho-carte"  pronounced  them  good.  He 
[Rose]  was  not  at  this  time  so  fortunate  in  obtaining  goods  as  he  had  previously 
been,  as  his  practices  were  better  known,  and  his  character  better  understood  than 
before.   [Cf.  also  Irving,  Bonneville,  1856  ed.,  p.  162.] 

So  we  part  with  Rose  so  far  as  Clyman's  account  is  concerned.  He 
is  said  to  have  gone  off  alone  on  a  trapping  expedition  into  the  Black- 
foot  country,  was  captured  by  them  and  forced  to  submit  to  their 
favorite  sport,  a  "race  for  life,"  the  story  of  which  bears  earmarks  of 
being  a  refabrication  of  the  Colter  tale.  He  turned  up  at  Council  Bluffs 
in  the  spring  of  1825  and  accompanied  the  O'Fallon  expedition  to  the 
Mandan  villages,  acting  as  interpreter  and  on  one  occasion  furnishing 
a  striking  display  of  violent  temper  for  Holmes,  who  was  present,  to 

There  is  an  episode  that  has,  I  believe,  been  wrongly  identified 
with  Rose's  career.  The  accounts  that  Zenas  Leonard^^  gives  of  the 
"old  negro"  he  found  living  among  the  Crows  in  1832  and  1834  might 
better  be  ascribed  to  James  Beckwourth  than  to  Rose.  Leaving  out  of 
consideration  the  probability  that  Rose  died  before  the  latter  date, 
there  are  a  number  of  points  in  which  the  Leonard  narrative  agrees 
more  closely  with  the  career  of  Beckwourth: — 

Beckwourth  had  been  associated  with  "JMackinney,"  Kenneth  IVIac- 

20  Montgomery,  Biographical  Sketch,  Bancroft  Library,  Calif.  MS. 

21  Narrative,  W.  F.  Wagner  edition,  1904,  pp.  130  and  264-67 ;  cf .  Chittenden, 
History  of  the  Fur  Trade,  1902,  p.  687. 


Kenzie,  Rose  had  not;  Beckwourth  gives  an  account  of  the  stealing  of 
Bonneville's  horses  which  Leonard  and  others  mention  as  occurring  in 
the  latter  part  of  the  year  1832;  Beckwourth  was  eleven  years  older 
than  Dr.  Wagner  makes  him  out  to  be  and  could  have  been  called  an 
"old  man"  as  were  some  trappers  even  younger  than  he;  finally,  the 
storming  of  the  Blackfoot  ford,  which  Leonard  claimed  to  have  wit- 
nessed, is  an  incident  not  only  described  similarly  and  in  detail  by 
Beckwourth  but  which  Parkman,^^  who  got  the  story  from  the  son  of 
old  Pierre  Dorion  in  1846,  did  not  believe  until  he  had  "heard  it  con- 
firmed from  so  many  independent  sources  that  [his]  skepticism  was 
almost  overcome." 

How  Rose  met  his  death  is  not  certainly  known.  Holmes  reports 
that  he  was  killed  some  time  before  1828.  Tradition  has  it  that  he  was 
blown  up,  perhaps  voluntarily,  in  a  powder  explosion  while  fighting  the 
Arikaras  near  Fort  Cass.^^  Chittenden  asserts  that  his  grave  is  on  the 
Missouri  near  the  mouth  of  Milk  River.  Jim  Beckwourth  gives  an 
ambiguous  and  highly  colored  tale  which  nevertheless  provides  a  date 
that  may  be  tentatively  accepted  since  other  occurrences  mentioned  by 
him  as  happening  at  this  time  can  be  authenticated. 

Beckwourth^*  reports  that  Rose  was  killed  in  the  early  spring  [of 
1833]  at  the  same  time  and  probably  under  the  same  circumstances  as 
Hugh  Glass.^^  Beckwourth  tells  of  the  powder  explosion  which  appar- 
ently occurred  at  least  two  days  after  Glass's  death  and  just  after  the 
stealing  of  Johnson  Gardner's  horses  by  the  Arikaras.^®  The  men  killed 
in  the  explosion  were  evidently  three  of  Gardner's  party  of  twenty 
trappers.  Unless  I  misunderstand  Beckwourth's  story,  the  three  men 
who  were  killed  on  the  ice,  whom  Beckwourth  claims  to  have  buried 
and  for  whom  the  Crows  mourned,  included  Hugh  Glass  and  Edward 
Rose,  two  of  the  most  remarkable  characters  that  ever  answered  the 
call  of  the  mountains. 

Clyman's  Adventures  in  the  Rockies,  1824-27 

Clyman's  adventures  in  the  mountains  during  the  next  three  years 
can  only  be  pieced  out  from  scattered  fragments  of  information.  The 
date  of  his  return  to  Fort  Atkinson  was  probably  about  the  fifteenth 
of  September,  1824,  since  he  was  said  to  have  been  eighty  days^'^  in 

22  Oregon  Trail,  1892  ed.,  pp.  133-34. 

23  Cf.  Bradley,  "Edward  Rose,"  Contrib.  Hist.  Soc.  Montana,  vol.  8,  1917, 
pp.  lSS-61. 

2'*T.  D.  Bonner,  Life  and  Adventures  of  James  P.  Beckwourth,  1856,  pp. 

2-">  For  similar  accounts  of  Glass's  death  see  Maximillian,  quoted  in  Chittenden, 
loc.  cit.,  pp.  705-6;  and  Calif.  Hist.  Soc.  Quarterly,  vol.  2,  no.  1,  p.  32. 

26  Cf.  Maximillian,  loc.  cit.;  and  Irving,  Bonneville,  1856  ed.,  pp.  177-79. 

27  Letter  of  John  Hustis,  quoted  hereinafter. 


walking  those  600  miles.  Also  Beckwourth  states  that  Fitzpatrick 
started  back  from  the  fort  to  rescue  his  outfit  in  September,  and  Ken- 
nerly's  diary  records  Fitzpatrick's  second  return  to  the  fort,  October  26, 

General  Ashley  after  hearing  Fitzpatrick's  report  upon  the  feasibility 
of  the  South  Pass  route  to  the  transmontane  trapping  grounds  decided 
to  lose  no  time  in  opening  up  that  new  district.  He  made  hasty  prep- 
arations and  left,  with  a  poorly  equipped  outfit,  on  the  third  of  Novem- 
ber, 1824,  for  a  toilsome  journey  across  the  plains  in  the  dead  of 
winter.  Doubtless  Clyman  accompanied  him,  for  on  April  21,  on  Green 
River,  Ashley  dispatched  "six  men  northwardly  to  the  sources  of  the 
river,  .  .  .  selecting  one  of  the  most  intelligent  and  efficient"  to  act  as 
leader^^ — a  choice  which  evidently  fell  upon  James  Clyman. 

Beckwourth  says  that  "one,  Clement"  was  in  charge.  Dale  thinks 
this  refers  to  one  of  the  Claymores  (Clements)  of  which  there  were  at 
least  two  in  the  mountains.^^  From  what  Clyman  himself  told  Mont- 
gomery, and  the  entry  in  his  return  transcontinental  diary  under  date 
of  June  13,  1846,  it  seems  evident  that  Clyman  was  the  "Clement"  of 
Beckwourth's  narrative.     Let  us  turn  to  Montgomery's  Sketch: 

Here  [on  Green  River]  the  party  separated  into  three  divisions.  I  was  left 
with  3  others  to  trap  and  explore  the  country  up  Green  River  and  its  branches. 
Capt.  Smith^o  had  8  men  and  went  West.  Fitpatrick,  with  three  men  went  south 
into  the  Wasatch  [Uintah]  Mountains,  .  .  .  my  party  were  doing  well  trapping 
beaver  when  one  day  17  [Arapaho]  Indians  came  to  us  and  stayed  3  or  4  days. 
At  last,  one  night  the  Indians  crept  up  and  killed  the  man  on  guard  with  an  ax, 
and  charged  on  us  with  two  guns  a  ball  passed  through  my  caput  that  answered 
for  a  pillow,  but  did  not  touch  me.  We  all  sprang  up.  The  Indians  flew  into  the 
brush,  we  crawled  out  into  the  open  ground  and  made  a  little  breastwork  or  fort 
of  stone,  just  about  daylight.  They  tried  to  get  us  out  from  behind  it,  but  didn't 
succeed.  We  fired  at  them,  and  I  think  I  killed  one.  We  were  very  much  dis- 
couraged— being  only  3  men  in  a  country  full  of  Indians,  and  concluded  to  take 
Fitzpatricks  trail  and  join  him. 

All  this  agrees  fairly  well  with  Beckwourth^^  except  that  both  Beck- 
wourth and  Ashley  say  that  six  men,  not  four,  made  up  the  original 
detachment.  Beckwourth  reports  that  the  murdered  man's  name  was 
"Le  Brache" — La  Barge,  for  whom  the  stream  upon  which  they  were 
encamped  was  doubtless  named.  In  a  casualty  list  of  "Persons  killed 
belonging  to  the  parties  of  William  H.  Ashley"  during  the  years  1823- 

28  Dale,  Ashley-Smith  Explorations,  pp.  93,   117-118. 

29  Antoine  Claymore,  mentioned  in  1832  by  Meek,  Victor,  River  of  the  West, 
1877,  p.  138;  and  Basil  Claymore  (Clement)  who  did  not  arrive  until  1840,  S.  D. 
Hist.  Sac.  Coll.,  vol.  II,  1922.  "A  Louis  Clermo  received  in  October  1832,  $123,375^ 
in  the  settlement  of  accounts  between  the  Rocky  Mountain  Fur  Company  and  Will- 
iam L.  Sublette.  Thomas  Eddie  received  $40.00  in  this  same  settlement," — infor- 
mation from  Miss  Stella  M.  Drumm  of  the  Missouri  Historical  Society. 

30  Perhaps  a  mistake  since  Smith  had  probably  not  rejoined  Ashley  this  early 
in  the  spring  of  182S.     Clyman  evidently  had  in  mind  events  of  the  previous  spring. 

31  Life  and  Adventures,  1856,  pp.  62-67. 


1829,  Clyman  is  mentioned  as  the  leader  of  a  party  one  of  whom  had 
been  killed,  "name  not  recollected."^^ 

Clyman  evidently  stayed  in  the  mountains  with  Sublette's  party 
during  the  time  that  Ashley  returned  to  St.  Louis.  He  next  appears 
as  one  of  the  four  men  who  circumnavigated  the  Great  Salt  Lake  in  the 
fall  of  1825,  or,  as  Robert  CampbelP^  said,  in  the  spring  of  1826. 
Clyman's  entry  in  his  diary,  June  1,  1846,  gives  the  date  as  1825,  and 
identifies  himself  for  the  first  time  as  one  of  those  who  made  the  voyage. 
The  names  of  the  others  are  not  known.  Letters,  written  to  Lyman  C. 
Draper  by  John  Hustis  and  Hiram  Ross,  Wisconsin  friends  of  Clyman, 
mention  the  Salt  Lake  voyage.  An  article  in  NUes  Register,  December 
9,  1826,^*  gives  the  following: 

It  was  coasted  last  spring  by  a  party  of  Gen.  Ashley's  men  in  canoes,  who  were 
occupied  four  and  twenty  days,  in  making  its  circuit.  They  did  not  exactly  ascer- 
tain its  outlet  but  passed  a  place  where  they  supposed  it  must  have  been. 

Clyman  is  now  lost  sight  of  until  the  fall  of  1827,  when  as  his  diary 
relates  (June  24,  1844)  he  came  out  of  the  mountains  for  the  last  time, 
returning  to  St.  Louis  by  the  Platte  route,  where  he  "had  the  honorable 
post  of  being  pilot"  for  his  train.  His  success  was  attested  by  the  valu- 
able pack  of  beaver  fur  which  he  brought  home. 

Among  Clyman's  papers,  at  Napa,  there  still  exists  a  receipt  for 
278  pounds  of  "Mountain  Beaver"  at  $4.50  a  pound  signed  by  Wilson 
P.  Hunt,  the  Astorian,  who  was  postmaster  and  trader  in  St.  Louis  at 
that  time,  October  17,  1827. 

A  further  glance  at  Clyman's  career  in  the  mountains  is  furnished 
by  General  Randolph  B.  Marcy:^^ 

While  traveling  in  Wisconsin  in  the  winter  of  1835,  I  fell  in  with  a  remarkably 
interesting  and  intelligent  man  by  the  name  of  Clyburn,  who  accompanied  me  from 
Sheboygan  to  Green  Bay  .  .  . 

I  found  Mr.  Clyburn  a  very  pleasant  traveling  companion,  and  he  very  kindly 
whiled  away  the  monotony  of  our  long  and  solitary  ride  through  that  dense  wilder- 
ness by  relating  to  me  several  thrilling  incidents  in  the  history  of  his  highly  eventful 
career.  As  his  character  for  honor  and  veracity  are  fully  established,  and  will,  I 
dare  say,  be  vouched  for  by  the  early  settlers  of  Milwaukee,  the  reader  may  rest 
perfectly  assured  that  every  word  of  his  narrative  has  the  impress  of  reality  and 
truth  ... 

Mr.  Clyburn  and  a  companion  were  at  one  time  assigned  to  a  district  within 
the  country  frequented  by  the  Blackfeet  Indians,  who  had  always  manifested  a 
most  implacable  spirit  of  hostility  to  the  whites,  and  made  war  upon  them  whenever 
they  met. 

The  two  companions,  however  exercised  the  greatest  possible  precaution  in 
visiting  their  traps  only  at  early  dawn  and  late  in  the  evening,  and  lying  concealed 
in  some  solitary  mountain  glen  during  the  daytime.  Thus  they  continued  their 
business  during  the  entire  season  .  .  .  they  determined  to  cross  a  stream  which  lay 

32  Document  in  the  Missouri  Historical  Society  collections. 
^^  Pacific  Railroad  Reports,  vol.  XI,  p.  35.     Campbell  recollected  "their  report 
that  it  was  without  any  outlet." 

34  Quoted  from  the  Missouri  Herald. 

35  Thirty  Years  of  Army  Life  on  the  Border,  1866,  pp.  412-15. 


in  their  route,  and  had  already  entered  a  grove  of  timber  that  covered  the  bottom 
lands,  when  all  at  once,  to  their  perfect  amazement  and  horror,  they  emerged 
directly  into  a  huge  encampment  of  Blackieet  Indians.  Mr.  Clyburn,  who  was, 
under  all  circumstances,  cool  and  self-possessed,  motioned  to  his  companion  to 
follow  him,  and  rode  directly  up  to  the  chief's  lodge,  telling  him  by  signs  that  they 
were  friends,  had  come  into  his  camp  to  pass  the  night,  and  claimed  his  protection ; 
thinking  that  this  appeal  to  his  hospitality  .  .  .  might  touch  his  pride,  and  possibly 
induce  him  to  spare  their  lives.  The  chief  received  them  very  coldly  .  .  .  required 
them  to  give  an  account  of  themselves  .  .  .  The  squaws  set  some  buffalo  meat  before 
tliem  .  .  .but  although  they  had  been  traveling  a  long  time,  and,  under  ordinary 
circumstances,  would  have  done  ample  justice  to  the  fare,  yet  their  surroundings 
.  .  .  were  of  such  a  character  as  almost  entirely  to  take  away  their  appetites. 
They,  however,  in  order  to  do  away  with  any  exhibition  of  alarm  on  their  part, 
forced  themselves  to  swallow  some  of  the  meat,  then  lit  their  pipes  .  .  .  Clyburn, 
who  understood  a  little  of  the  Blackfeet  language  overheard  the  chief  tell  some  of 
his  warriors  that  he  and  his  companion  must  be  put  to  death  ...  he  immediately 
resolved  upon  the  course  they  should  pursue,  and  very  quietly  .  .  .  informed  his 
friend  .  .  .  directing  him  ...  to  keep  constant  watch  upon  his  own  movements  and 
to  do  precisely  as  he  did.  He  waited  until  nearly  dark  .  .  .  when  the  Indians  seem- 
ed off  their  guard  ...  to  spring  to  his  feet  and  .  .  .  run  rapidly  toward  the  river. 
His  friend  followed,  but  the  Indians  .  .  .  seizing  their  arms,  pursued  them  closely, 
firing  many  balls  and  arrows  .  .  .  He,  however,  had  the  good  fortune  to  reach  the 
river,  and  jumped  in,  diving  deeply,  and  striking  out  .  .  .  for  the  opposite  shore, 
and  hid  himself  under  a  shelving  bank.  Here  he  awaited  in  great  anxiety  for 
some  time,  until  the  Indians  had  .  .  .  returned  to  their  camps,  when  he  crawled 
out  and  endeavored  to  get  some  trace  of  his  friend,  but  none  was  found  and  he 
was  never  heard  of  afterwards. 

In  the  Black  Hawk  War 

Some  say  it  was  in  1829  that  James  Clyman  abandoned  his  haz- 
ardous life  as  a  trapper,  but  he  had  undoubtedly  returned  to  St.  Louis 
two  years  before  then.  With  the  proceeds  of  the  sale  of  his  beaver 
furs  he  bought  land  near  Danville,  Illinois,  and  placed  his  two  brothers 
there  to  farm.-"'*'  These  were  John  and  another,  perhaps  the  Lancaster 
Clyman  that  James  heard  of  in  Oregon  in  1844.  This  farm  may  be 
the  one  Clyman  sold  to  C.  S.  Galusha  in  1838,  for  fifty  dollars  an  acre.^'^ 
It  was  located  on  the  north  bank  of  the  Big  Vermillion  River  at  the 
junction  of  the  North  Fork  and  the  main  stream. 

James  entered  business  in  a  general  store  with  Daniel  W.  Beckwith, 
setting  up  in  "one  of  the  first  log  stores  in  Danville. "^^  Subsequently, 
it  seems,  Goulding  Arnett  took  over  Beckwith's  share  in  the  partnership 
and  the  firm  continued  under  the  name  of  Clyman  and  Arnett  until 
1839.  Lands  belonging  to  Clyman  were  then  sold  in  order  to  pay 
off  certain  notes  which  were  overdue.^*^ 

These  mercantile  pursuits  suffered  a  rude  but  perhaps  not  unwel- 

^^  Narrative  of  Hiram  Beckwith,  MS.  in  the  Draper  collection,  Wisconsin  His- 
torical Society. 

'^'^  Note  in  the  Clyman  papers,  in  the  Tallman  collection  in  the  Huntington 

38  H.  W.  Beckwith  and  Son,  History  of  Vermillion  County,  Illinois,  Chicago, 
1879,  pp.  318  and  325. 

2^  Bills  and  notes  among  the  Clyman  papers,  in  the  Tallman  collection. 


come  interruption  in  the  outbreak  of  the  Black  Hawk  War.  Clyman 
served  for  two  years.  He  enlisted  as  a  private  in  Captain  (Dr.)  Jacob 
M.  Early's  Company  of  Mounted  Volunteers  on  June  21,  1832,  where 
he  remained  until  July  10  of  the  same  year.*<^  During  this  time  Abra- 
ham Lincoln  was  also  a  private  in  this  company.  Clyman  told  Mont- 
gomery of  his  service  with  Lincoln,  and  added:  "We  didn't  think  much 
then  about  his  ever  being  President."^^ 

The  details  of  this  first  short  campaign  are  well  known  .^^  A  march 
was  made  from  Dixon's  Ferry  on  the  27th  to  Whitewater  River,  where 
the  country  was  scoured  in  search  of  fleeing  Indians,  none  of  whom 
were  encountered.  The  only  fighting  done,  as  Lincoln  afterwards  said, 
was  with  the  mosquitoes. 

Clyman  was  commissioned  a  second  lieutenant  of  Mounted  Rangers 
July  23,  1832.  He  joined  Jesse  B.  Browne's  company  in  Major  Henry 
Dodge's  newly  organized  battalion.  After  the  capture  of  Black  Hawk 
the  rangers  moved  down  to  Rock  Island.  There,  on  September  23, 
Clyman  was  appointed  assistant  commissary  of  subsistence  for  Browne's 

The  most  important  activity  of  the  troops  during  the  next  year  was 
the  removal  of  the  Winnebago  Indians  from  their  ancestral  home  in 
Wisconsin.^*  While  this  movement  was  in  progress  Clyman  was  trans- 
ferred to  the  First  Dragoons,  September  19,  1833.  This  command  was 
sent  to  Fort  Gibson  and  finally  to  Missouri.  Here  Clyman  sent  in  his 
resignation,^-''  which  was  accepted  on  May  31,  1834. 

Clyman  returned  to  Danville  and  his  long  neglected  business  only  to 
find  himself  besieged  with  accounts  from  the  Commissary  General  of 
Subsistence  at  Washington.  Some  of  these  notes  went  back  to  the  time 
of  Clyman's  predecessor  in  1832.  They  requested  the  return  of  vou- 
chers and  abstracts  of  ration  issues  made  during  campaigns  in  the  field. 
Clyman  stood  charged  on  the  books  with  over  $400,  and  there  is 
evidence  that  he  paid  over  a  part  of  this  sum  during  the  next  year.^*^ 
Accoimtability  in  the  army  was  then  adjusted  on  an  even  more  minute 
scale  than  it  is  today. 

40  Isaac  H.  Elliott,  Illinois  Soldiers  in  the  Black  Hawk  War  in  1831-1832, 
Springfield,  1882. 

41  R.  T.  Montgomery,  Biographical  Sketch  of  James  Clyman,  Calif.  MS.,  Ban- 
croft Library. 

42  Frank  E.  Stevens,  The  Black  Hawk  War,  Chicago,  1903.  Alfred  A.  Jack- 
son. "Abraham  Lincoln  in  the  Black  Hawk  War,"  Wisconsin  Hist.  Collections,  vol. 
14,  1898,  pp.  118-36.  Reuben  G.  Thwaites,  "The  Story  of  the  Black  Hawk  War," 
ibid,  vol.  12,  1892,  pp.  216-65. 

4^  Order  signed  by  Major  Dodge,  in  the  TaUman  papers. 

44  Louise  P.  Kellogg,  "The  Removal  of  the  Winnebago,"  Trans.  Wisconsin 
Acad,  of  Sci.  Arts  and  Letters,  vol.  21,  July,  1924. 

45  Letter  of  Lt.  Col.  Stephen  W.  Kearny,  dated  Jefferson  Barracks,  May  12, 
1834,  in  the  TaUman  papers. 

46  Papers  in  the  TaUman  collection. 


Pioneering  in  Wisconsin 

The  Wisconsin  wilderness  must  have  remained  as  a  fascinating 
memory  in  Cly man's  restless  soul,  for  scarcely  a  year  had  passed  when, 
with  his  friend  Hiram  Ross,  he  set  out  northward  again.  Ross  recollects 

Clyman  &  myself  came  together  to  Wisconsin  about  the  7th  of  January,  183S. 
We  made  our  claims  on  government  land.  We  stayed  about  three  weeks  in  Mil- 
waukee and  then  went  back  to  Danville  together.  We  travelled  on  horseback. 
About  the  last  of  February  Clyman  &  I  started  for  Milwaukee  again,  with  two 
teams  loaded  with  provisions  we  were  about  7  or  8  days  on  the  road.  We 
(Clyman  and  I)  built  a  sawmill  on  the  Monomonee  River  about  four  miles  from 
Milwaukee,  in  1836,  in  the  spring  &  summer. 

This  mill,  later  known  as  the  "Ross  Mill,"  every  trace  of  which  dis- 
appeared more  than  fifty  years  ago,  was  located  in  the  northwest  quarter 
of  Section  26,  Township  7,  Range  21,  in  the  town  of  Wauwatosa.^^  A 
large  amount  of  lumber  was  sawed  there.  The  mill  was  originally  built 
for  the  firm  of  Clyman  and  Amett,  and  Clyman  himself  furnished  two 
hundred  dollars  to  start  the  work.*'' 

Apparently  the  first  land  that  Ross  and  Clyman  took  up  in  Wis- 
consin lay  in  what,  a  year  later,  became  the  town  of  Milwaukee.  Cly- 
man was  "floated  out"  of  all  but  a  fourteenth  interest  in  the  town  lots 
which  were  surveyed  upon  his  claim.  On  July  20,  1836,  he  appointed 
the  pioneer,  Byron  Kilbourn,  as  his  attorney  to  sell  his  share  in  the 
property  which  lay  in  Lot  Number  2,  Section  20,  Township  7,  Range 
22,  in  the  Milwaukee  tract.^*' 

In  March,  1839,  Clyman  paid  taxes  on  property  in  Milwaukee 
County — "Viz — -Lots  1.  &  2.  of  Section  31.  Township  No.  8.  of  Range 
22  East — Also  the  North  West  quarter  of  Sec.  8.  Township  No  7 — N.  of 
Range  22  East  also  the  N.E.  >4  Sec  18.  T.  7.  Range  22  East."  Cly- 
man's  original  claim  of  eighty  acres  is  said  to  have  been  a  little  north 
of  what  is  now  Chestnut  Street,  in  Milwaukee.^^  He  was  remembered 
by  old-time  Milwaukeeans  "for  his  singular  traits  of  character  as  well 
as  for  his  daring  spirit  .  .  .  Few  men  then  living  had  seen  so  much  of 
life  in  the  rough,  or  were  better  constituted  to  enjoy  it  than  he  ...  To 
him  the  frontier  was  a  paradise."^^ 

Discontented  with  his  new  Milwaukee  claim,  probably  on  account  of 
the  inrush  of  squatters,  Clyman  determined  to  move  on  northward.     In 

4''' Letter  to  L.  C.  Draper,  dated  Delavan,  Wisconsin,  July  2,    1879,  in   the 
Draper  collection. 

48  James  S.  Buck,  Pioneer  History  of  Milwaukee,  Milwaukee,  1881,  vol.  2,  p.  13. 

49  Receipt  signed  by  Goulding  Arnett,  dated  "Milwaukie  May  24th  1836,"  in 
the  Tallman  papers. 

^^  Document  in  the  Tallman  papers. 

51  Letter  of  John  Hustis,  quoted  hereinafter. 

52  James  S.  Buck,  loc.  cit. 


company  with  Ellsworth  Burnett  he  was  a  victim  of  a  tragic  event,  the 
story  of  which  has  been  told  by  Buck:^^ 

Clyman  and  Burnett  left  Milwaukee  on  the  4th  of  November,  183  S,  for  a 
trip  to  Rock  river,  in  search  of  land.  They  reached  the  river  on  the  second  day 
out.  At  a  point  where  the  present  village  of  Theresa,  I^odge  county,  now  stands, 
they  found  an  Indian  Wigwam,  occupied  by  a  squaw,  from  whom  they  purchased 
a  canoe  for  fifty  cents,  in  which  to  descend  the  river,  and  into  which  they  placed 
their  baggage  and  proceeded  on  their  way.  They  were  hardly  out  of  sight  of  the 
wigwam,  when  two  Indians,  one  the  husband  and  the  other  the  son  of  the  squaw, 
came  home,  who,  on  learning  what  had  occurred,  at  once  started  in  pursuit  for  the 
purpose  of  kilhng  both  of  them,  partly  for  the  recovery  of  the  canoe,  but  prin- 
cipally to  avenge  the  death  of  a  brother  of  the  squaw,  who  was  killed  by  a  soldier 
at  Fort  Winnebago,  two  years  before. 

MeanwhUe,  Clyman  and  Burnett  had  reached  a  point  about  a  mile  and  a  half 
from  Theresa,  about  sunset,  and  were  preparing  to  take  up  their  quarters  for  the 
night  in  an  old  deserted  cabin  which  some  wandering  trapper  had  erected  there  in 
former  years,  when  the  two  Indians  came  up  and  entered  the  cabin,  where  Burnett 
was  busy  making  a  fire.  He  was  instantly  shot  by  the  son,  before  Clyman,  who 
was  outside  gathering  wood  for  the  night,  had  any  suspicion  of  their  hostile  in- 

The  report  of  the  gun,  followed  by  a  screech  of  agony  from  Burnett,  caused 
Clyman  to  look  up,  when  he  saw  the  old  Indian,  whose  name  was  "Ash-e-ka-pa-we," 
or  in  English,  "I  stand  here,  or  here  I  stand,"  standing  in  the  door  of  the  cabin, 
beckoning  him  to  come  quickly,  giving  him  to  understand  at  the  same  time  that 
Burnett  had  accidently  shot  himself.  Clyman  at  once  started  for  the  cabin,  and 
had  nearly  reached  it,  when  the  old  rascal  threw  off  the  mask,  and  raised  his  gun 
to  shoot  him.  This  at  once  opened  Clyman's  eyes  as  to  what  had  happened  to 
Burnett,  as  well  as  to  what  would  be  likely  to  happen  to  himself  if  he  remained 
there  long;  and  he  at  once  commenced  to  run,  jumping  at  the  same  time  from  side 
to  side,  in  order  to  make  it  the  more  difficult  for  the  old  sinner  to  hit  him. 

Old  Ash-e-ka-pa-we,  seeing  that  his  little  game  was  not  only  discovered,  but 
that  his  victim  was  also  likely  to  escape,  at  once  fired,  the  shot  taking  effect  in 
Clyman's  left  arm,  breaking  the  bone  just  below  the  elbow;  while  at  the  same  time 
the  son,  Ush-ho-ma,  aUas  Mach-e-oke-ma  (or  the  little  chief)  came  out  of  the 
cabin,  and  taking  Clyman's  own  gun,  which  stood  leaning  against  it,  loaded  with 
buck-shot,  discharged  the  contents  into  his  back  [thigh],  after  which  both  started 
in  pursuit.  This  last  shot  was  not  very  effective,  on  account  of  the  distance 
Clyman  was  from  them  by  that  time,  for  he  could  run  like  a  deer;  and  the  prin- 
cipal effect  was  to  make  him,  as  he  expressed  it,  "as  mad  as  hell"  to  be  peppered 
in  that  way  with  his  own  gun,  and  he  would  have  liked  to  return  the  compliment 
very  much,  but  as  sauve  qui  peut  was  the  order  of  the  day  just  then,  he  kept  on, 
until  the  voices  of  his  pursuers,  as  they  called  to  each  other,  one  of  them  keeping 
on  each  side  of,  and  about  parallel  with  him  for  a  short  time,  were  lost  in  the 
distance,  when  he  hid  under  a  fallen  tree.* 

By  this  time  it  was  dark,  and  after  listening  until  their  retreating  footsteps 
were  lost  in  the  distance,  he  bound  up  his  wounded  arm  with  his  handkerchief, 
after  which  he  took  his  course  for  Milwaukee,  distant  fifty  miles,  and  every  foot 
of  the  way  an  unbroken  wilderness.  He  held  his  left  arm  in  his  right  hand, 
traveled  hard  all  that  night,  during  which  it  rained  steadily,  the  next  day  and 
night,  and  in  the  forenoon  of  the  second  day  came  out  near  the  Cold  Spring, 
having  eaten  nothing  during  all  this  terrible  journey. 

Here  he  met  his  old  Rocky  Mountain  comrade,  John  Bowen,  of  Wauwatosa, 
who  was  not  aware  that  he  had  left  Milwaukee,  and  to  whom  he  said:  "O,  John, 
how  I  wish  we  had  taken  you  along.  Wouldn't  we  have  fixed  them  red  devils!" 
He  was  taken  to  the  house  of  Wm.  Woodward,  at  the  Cold  Spring,  where  his 
wounds  were  dressed  by  Bowen,  who  was  the  only  one  he  would  allow  to  touch 
him,  and  where  he  remained  until  his  wounds  were  healed. 

^^  Idem,  pp.  14-17.    Cf.  also.  A,  C,  Wheeler,  The  Chronicles  of  Milwaukee, 
1861,  pp.  43-47. 

*  So  close  was  the  search  for  him  that  they  both  stood  at  one  time  upon   this  very  tree, 
beneath  which  he  was  concealed,  and  so  near  him  that  he  could  hear  all  they  said. 


As  an  exhibition  of  physical  endurance,  this  has  seldom  if  ever  been  equaled; 
and  as  a  specimen  of  skill  in  wood  craft,  never. 

The  subsequent  capture  and  confinement  of  the  Indians  at  Green  Bay,  trial 
at  Milwaukee  under  Judge  Frazier  in  1837,  and  subsequent  pardon  by  Gov.  Henry 
Dodge,  was  related  in  Volume  I.  Neither  of  them  were  ever  seen  in  Milwaukee 
again  after  their  release,  at  least  as  long  as  Clyman  remained  in  the  country,  for 
he  would  certainly  have  killed  them  both  had  he  found  them.  And  it  might 
truthfully  be  said  that  the  fear  of  him  was  upon  every  Indian  then  here,  for  not 
one  of  them  would  remain  in  the  town  twenty  minutes  after  they  got  sight  of  him. 
A  whole  regiment  of  soldiers  could  not  have  inspired  them  with  a  greater  desire 
for  the  solitude  of  the  wilderness,  than  did  the  presence  of  this  one  man.  I  well 
remember  being  in  the  old  corner  store  where  Ludington's  block  now  stands,  at 
the  comer  of  East  Water  and  Wisconsin  streets,  then  kept  by  McDonald  and 
Mallaby,  in  the  summer  of  1837,  and  watching  the  effect  that  the  entree  of  Clyman 
had  upon  some  Indians  that  were  lounging  about  the  store.  The  moment  they  saw 
him  they  started  for  the  door,  casting  furtive  glances  behind  them  as  they  went 
out,  while  upon  his  face,  as  he  stood  gazing  at  them,  was  an  expression,  and  in  his 
eyes  a  look,  that  would  have  frozen  the  marrow  in  the  bones  of  a  timorous  man. 
They  hastened  out  of  sight  as  soon  as  possible.  It  was  wonderful  what  effect  his 
presence  had  in  emptying  that  store.    He  was  their  "Jibbinenosey."* 

Colonel  Clyman  belonged  to  that  class  of  men  ever  to  be  found  in  advance  of 
civilization,  who  form  the  advance  guard,  the  pioneer  proper.  Consequently  the 
country  had  no  sooner  begun  to  settle  up,  than  he  was  away  .  .  . 

It  is  recorded  elsewhere  that  the  motive  for  the  murder  of  Burnett 
''was  revenge  for  the  death  of  an  Indian  at  Fort  Winnebago,  killed  by 
a  sentry,  this  Indian  was  brother-in-law  of  the  one  who  killed  Burnett, 
and  the  other  Indian  was  son  of  the  murderer."^* 

Clyman  was  badly  wounded.  The  shot  in  his  thigh  were  taken  out 
by  Milwaukee  surgeons,  but  he  limped  for  a  long  time  afterwards.  He 
is  said  to  have  returned  to  Theresa  to  obtain  his  gun,  a  "double  barreled 
stub  and  twist  shot  gim,  large  caliber."  Henry  Dodge,  who  finally 
pardoned  the  culprits  "on  the  grounds  of  expediency,"  was  Clyman's 
old  colonel  in  the  Rangers,  and  in  October  of  the  previous  year,  1836, 
Dodge,  who  was  then  territorial  governor  of  Wisconsin,  appointed  James 
Clyman,  "Colonel  of  Militia,"  at  Milwaukee.^^ 

As  a  sequel  to  the  Burnett  affair,  forty-nine  settlers  petitioned  Con- 
gress to  "pass  a  law"  awarding  a  square  mile  of  bounty  land  to  James 
Clyman,  who,  they  said,  had  lost  three  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  in  cash 
and  the  use  of  his  arm.  They  represented  him  as  being  "one  of  the  most 
honorable  and  worthy  citizens"  of  Milwaukee.  The  petition  was  not 
signed  by  Clyman  "nor  by  any  person  in  his  name  or  in  his  behalf,"  and 
the  claim  was  not  granted  .^^ 

Clyman,  caught  in  the  whirl  of  the  'land-fever,"  evidently  had  been 
at  Green  Bay  before  to  take  up  claims,  since  in  September,  1835,  he 
attended  a  land  sale  there  as  a  representative  of  the  settlers  in  their  con- 

*  A  name  given  by  the  Shawnee  Indians  to  a  Quaker,  known  among  the  whites  as  Peaceful 
Nathan,  who  marked  every  Indian  he  killed  with  a  cross  on  the  breast,  with  his  knife.  It  means 
in  English,  The  Devil. 

54  Note  appended  to  Narrative  of  Hiram  Beckwith,  in  the  Draper  collection. 

55  Information  from  Miss  Annie  A.  Nunns  of  the  Wisconsin  Historical  Society. 

56  24th  Cong.  1st  Sess.  House  Claims  Committee,  report  no.  468,  March  24, 
1836,  Report  on  case  of  James  Clyman. 


flict  with  the  "speculators,"  and  was  one  of  seven  who  published  a  card 
of  thanks  "for  the  handsome  manner  in  which  their  claims  were  re- 
garded. "^^ 

From  1836  until  1840  Clyman  was  back  in  his  business  at  Danville. 
Later  he  took  out  a  contract  for  the  "placing  of  milestones  on  the  old 
state  road,  laid  out  by  authority  of  the  legislature  of  Illinois,  from  Vin- 
cennes  Indiana  to  Chicago. "^^ 

In  politics  Clyman  was  at  this  time  a  Whig.     In  January,  1841,  at 

the  Milwaukee  celebration  of  Harrison's  election,  Clyman  was  marshal 

of  the  day.^^    His  character  and  appearance  then  were  probably  about 

as  pictured  by  his  Wisconsin  friends,  who  wrote  from  memory  after  a 

lapse  of  many  years: 

Clyman  was  tall — his  height  being  more  than  six  feet;  his  shoulders  were 
rounded  and  a  little  stooping;  he  was  raw  boned  and  angular;  a  man  of  great 
muscular  power,  possessed  of  wonderful  endurance;  and  endowed  with  a  daring 
courage  and  coolness  of  temper  that  fitted  him  in  a  remarkable  degree  for  the 
dangerous  life  in  which  he  found  employment  and  pleasure.  He  was  frank  and 
kind  to  a  fault,  ever  ready  to  assist  a  friend  in  need.  He  was  a  splendid  rifle 
shot  and  a  successful  hunter.^o 

Buck  says:®^ 

He  had  dark  brown  hair,  and  a  dark  or  swarthy  [ruddy]  complexion.  His 
head  was  rather  larger  than  the  average,  with  a  high  forehead.  He  had  small,  dark 
blue  eyes,  set  wide  apart,  that  seemed  to  look  you  through.  His  face  was  thin 
and  beardless,  with  high  cheek  bones.  His  mouth  was  small,  and  his  lips,  which 
were  thin,  were  generally  slightly  pressed  together.  He  spoke  with  a  slight  Southern 
accent,  in  a  clear,  distinct  tone,  and  was  a  man  of  few  words,  but  of  wonderful 
deeds.  In  manner  he  was  a  perfect  gentlemen,  courteous  and  dignified  to  all;  but 
at  the  same  time  not  over  easy  to  get  acquainted  with;  and,  like  Orrendorf 
[another  Wisconsin  pioneer],  "a  dangerous  foe  when  aroused."  He  possessed 
the  keenest  sight  of  any  man  I  ever  knew.  He  seldom  laughed  or  showed  any 
emotion,  except  when  an  Indian  was  in  sight,  when  an  expression  would  appear 
upon  his  face  not  difficult  to  interpret,  and  one  that  most  certainly  boded  no  good 
to  the  Indian.  He  walked  with  a  long,  quick  stride,  stooped  a  little,  a  habit 
no  doubt  acquired  in  his  early  frontier  life,  from  carrying  a  pack.  He  was  a  splen- 
did woodsman;  no  better  ever  lived  here,  and  was  possessed  of  wonderful  powers 
of  endurance,  as  his  journey  from  Rock  River  to  Milwaukee  after  the  killing  of 
Burnett,  fully  proves. 

A.  C.  Dodge,  son  of  Colonel  Henry,  wrote®^  that  "he  was  noted  for 

enterprise,  activity  and  undaunted  courage." 

The  Emigrants  of  1844 

Seventeen  years  have  now  passed  since  James  Clyman  left  the 
moimtains  and  returned  to  St.  Louis,  a  successful  fur  hunter.  Rapid 
changes  are  now  appearing  along  the  old  trappers'  trails.  The  covered 
wagon  days  have  come.  Throughout  the  bottom  lands  of  Missouri,  into 

^"^  Green  Bay  Intelligencer,  quoted  from  Buck,  loc.  cit. 
58  Narrative  of  Hiram  Beckwith,  loc.  cit. 
5^  Information  from  Miss  Annie  A.  Nunns. 
*o  Narrative  of  Hiram  Beckwith,  loc.  cit. 

61  Buck,  loc.  cit. 

62  Draper  manuscripts. 


the  farms  of  Illinois  and  Indiana  and  the  backwoods  of  Kentucky, 
Tennessee  and  Arkansas,  rages  a  contagious  "fever"  of  a  different  sort 
than  the  well  known  malarial  "ague,"  The  promise  of  free  land  in 
Oregon  and  reports  of  a  squatters'  paradise  in  California  have  begun  to 
inflame  the  restless  settlers,  who  sell  their  farms,  stow  their  belongings 
into  ox-carts  and  covered  wagons  and  organize  their  caravans  at  the 
frontier  settlements  for  the  long  westward  trek. 

For  four  years  now  Indian  scouts  on  the  plains  have  watched  the 
passage  of  a  yearly  increasing  number  of  emigrant  trains.  Every  spring, 
for  four  years,  at  Westport,  Independence  and  Council  Bluffs  an  in- 
creasing bustle  and  confusion  has  marked  the  assembly  and  departure 
of  the  settlers'  caravans.  Old  mountaineers  gather  to  see  the  sport, 
answer  questions,  give  advice,  and  finally  to  be  hired  as  guides.  The 
frontier  is  moving  west. 

James  Clyman,  in  the  spring  of  1844  had  traveled  down  from 
Wisconsin  on  horseback  to  "see  the  country  and  try  to  find  a  better 
climate"  to  rid  himself  of  a  cough  that  had  troubled  him  during  the  cold 
winter  of  the  previous  year.  He  journeyed  into  Arkansas  and  back 
through  Missouri  where,  at  Independence,  he  finds  the  overland  emi- 
grants assembling.  Remembering  how  healthy  he  had  been  during  his 
previous  life  in  the  mountains,  he  determines  to  go  along.  He  also 
determines  to  write  out  a  daily  record  of  his  experiences,  which  he 
continues  during  his  travels  in  Oregon  and  California  and  his  return 
to  his  starting  point  in  1846.  This  is  the  narrative  which  forms  a  large 
part  of  the  following  pages. 

The  emigration  of  1844,  consisting  of  nearly  1500  persons  mostly 
from  the  western  frontier,  outnumbered  all  the  emigrants  of  the  four 
preceding  years.  There  were  five  detachments  at  the  start,  the  three 
largest  of  which  went  through  to  Oregon.  These  were  led  by  General 
Cornelius  Gilliam,  John  Thorp,  and  Colonel  Nathaniel  Ford.  Gilliam's 
party  of  over  three  hundred  assembled  at  Fort  Leavenworth.^*  Thorp's 
company  traveled  an  independent  route  as  far  as  Fort  Laramie,  follow- 
ing the  north  bank  of  the  Platte.  The  party,  which  after  the  start 
elected  Ford  as  its  captain,  rendezvoused  at  Independence,  where  Cly- 
man joined  them,  and  left  at  least  two  weeks  before  Gilliam's  train. 
There  were  about  five  hundred  persons  in  Ford's  conmiand.  These  or- 
ganized into  messes  of  about  twenty  each,  as  was  the  custom  before 
entering  the  Indian  country.  Qyman  seems  to  have  acted  as  a  sort  of 
treasurer  for  a  part  of  the  outfit. 

^^  Montgomery,  Biographical  Sketch  of  James  Clyman,  loc.  cit. 
^"^  Daily  Missouri  Republican,  May  28,  1844,  quoted  in  Publ.  Nebraska  State 
Hist.  Soc,  vol.  20,  1922,  p.  126. 


In  addition  to  the  three  Oregon  trains  there  was  a  small  party, 
principally  from  Holt  County,  Missouri,  captained  by  the  old  trapper, 
Elisha  Stephens.  They  traveled  off  and  on  with  the  main  Oregon 
trains  imtil  they  reached  Fort  Hall,  when  some  of  them  turned  aside  and 
went  directly  into  California.  This  was  the  Stephens-Townsend-Murphy 
party,  the  first  to  take  wagons  over  the  summit  of  the  Sierra  Nevada, 
and  the  first,  so  far  as  known,  to  cross  by  the  Truckee  route.  At 
Truckee  (Donner)  Lake  they  built  a  cabin  that  was  used  the  next  winter 
by  some  of  the  families  of  the  Donner  party.  In  the  Stephens  train  at 
the  start  there  were  said  to  have  been  "27  wagons  in  all,  about  40  men, 
and  a  large  proportion  of  women  and  children."^''  Clyman  reports  that 
only  thirteen  wagons  turned  off  at  Fort  Hall. 

A  fifth  company  was  that  of  Sublette.  Minto  says  he  was  the  famous 
trapper  William  Sublette.  His  train  was  a  small  one  of  twenty-two 
men,  half  of  whom  were  traveling  for  their  health.  After  burying  at 
least  three  of  their  number  his  party  is  said  to  have  repaired  to  Brown's 
Hole  to  spend  the  summer  in  the  Rocky  Mountains. 

Black  Harris 

The  Gilliam  and  Ford  emigrants  of  1844  were  guided  to  Oregon  by 
the  old  mountain  man,  Moses  Harris,  often  called  "Black"  Harris,  or 
"Major"  Harris.  He  was  connected  originally  with  the  Ford  company, 
and  seems  to  have  been  of  service  to  all  the  emigrants  on  the  road  west 
of  Fort  Hall.  His  work  then  and  during  the  next  five  years  as  a  pioneer 
of  new  immigrant  routes  across  the  Cascade  Mountains,  and  into  Cali- 
fornia and  northern  Nevada,  was  conspicuous,  and  entitles  him  to  be 
remembered  as  one  of  the  active  spirits  in  the  development  of  the  West. 

Clyman's  facetious  verse  indicates  the  happy-go-lucky,  jovial 
good  nature  of  the  guide  who  was  famous  for  his  conviviality  and  love  of 
a  good  joke  or  a  cheerful  yam. 

Moses  Harris  is  said,  on  rather  doubtful  authority ,^^  to  have  hailed 
from  Kentucky.  Gray  describes  him  as  "of  medium  height,  black  hair, 
black  whiskers,  dark  brown  eyes,  and  very  dark  complexion."  He  first 
appears  as  one  of  Ashley's  trappers  in  1823,  and  was  even  then  reckoned 
as  an  "experienced  mountaineer  ...  in  whom  the  general  reposed  the 
strictest  confidence  for  his  knowledge  of  the  country  and  his  familiarity 
with  Indian  life."^''^  It  is  probable  that  Harris  went  out  for  the  first 
time  with  Ashley's  expedition  of  1822. 

His  proverbial  powers  of  endurance  doubtless  caused  William  L. 

^^Idem,  June  11,  1844,  quoted  in  ibid,  p.  127. 

«6W.  H.  Gray,  A  History  of  Oregon,  Portland,  1870,  p.  125. 

«7  T.  D.  Bonner,  /.  P.  Beckwourth,  18S6,  pp.  23-24. 


Sublette  to  choose  him  as  sole  companion  on  the  trip  out  of  the  moun- 
tains to  St.  Louis  in  the  winter  of  1825-26.  Joe  Meek  said  they  went 
"on  snow  shoes  with  a  train  of  pack  dogs."*^  The  following  spring 
Sublette  and  Harris  guided  Ashley  back  through  the  South  Pass.^^ 
During  the  thirties  Harris  became  a  leader  of  mountain  men,  and 
was  active  as  a  trapper  and  a  pilot  of  trappers'  caravans.  Nathaniel 
Wyeth,  a  rival  trader,  encountered  him,  and  in  speaking  of  Indian 
depredations  says:'^^ 

[Bonneville]  lost  one  entire  party  among  the  Crows  that  is  the  Horses  and 
of  course  all  the  Beavers.  A  party  under  Bridger  and  Frapp  also  lost  their  horses 
by  the  Aricarees,  also  Harris  party  lost  theirs  by  the  same  Inds.  who  have  taken 
a  permanent  residence  on  the  Platte  and  left  the  Missouri  which  is  the  reason  I 
go  by  the  last  named  river.  Harris  party  did  not  interfere  with  any  of  my  plans 
south  of  Snake  River  .  .  .  Harris  party  now  in  hand  7  packs  Beaver  and  are  on  foot. 

Hinman  claims  that  Harris  conducted  Marcus  Whitman,  the  mis- 
sionary, across  the  mountains.^^  Harris  was  with  the  trappers  who  con- 
voyed the  Whitman  party  as  far  as  the  rendezvous  on  Green  River  in 
1836,  as  appears  from  the  fact  that  Mrs.  Whitman  had  him  to  tea  on 
June  4,  1836.'^^  Whether  he  met  Whitman  and  Parker  the  previous  year 
I  do  not  know.  In  1838  he  traveled  across  the  plains  in  the  trappers' 
caravan  which  escorted  the  American  Board  missionaries,  W.  H.  Gray, 
Elkanah  Walker,  Gushing  Eells  and  A.  B.  Smith.  Mrs.  Eells  mentions 
him  in  her  diary  under  dates  of  April  28,  May  26  and  July  A?^ 

Harris'  interest  in  the  acquisition  of  the  Far  West  is  first  evident 
from  his  letter  written  to  Thornton  Grimsley  offering  to  join  a  filibuster- 
ing expedition:'^  Independence  [Missouri]  June  4th  1841. 

Your  name  is  well  known  in  the  mountains  by  many  of  your  old  friends  who 
would  be  glad  to  join  the  standard  of  their  country,  and  make  a  clean  sweep  of 
what  is  called  the  Origon  Territory;  that  is  to  clear  it  of  British  and  Indians. 
I  was  one  of  seven  hundred  who  invited  you  to  take  command  and  march  through 
to  California,  and  will  be  with  you  if  you  can  get  the  Government  of  the  United 
States  to  authorize  the  occupancy  of  the  Origon  Country.  I  have  been  as  you 
know  20  years  in  the  mountains.  The  British  have  now  taken  possession  of  Fort 
Hall,  formerly  a  trading  post  of  some  American  trappers,  and  are  repairing  and 
putting  it  in  military  customs.  Why  our  Government  suffers  these  things  I  know 
not.  The  North  West  Company  does  not  only  take  from  our  territory  from  one 
to  two  millions  of  furs  and  peltries  per  year  but  they  influence  the  Blackfeet,  and 
other  tribes  of  Indians  to  take  our  scalps. 

On  January  7,  1844,  the  New  Orleans  Picayune  printed  the  follow- 

68  F.  F.  Victor,  River  of  the  West,  Hartford,  1877,  p.  81. 

6^H.  C.  Dale,  Ashley-Smith  Explorations,  Cleveland,  1918,  p.  165. 

70  "Wyeth's  Journals  and  Correspondence,"  in  Sources  of  the  History  of  Ore- 
gon, vol.  1,  no.  1,  pp.  69-70;  Letter  to  F.  Ermatinger  from  Green  River,  July  18, 

■^1  "Recollections  of  Alanson  Hinman,"  Oregon  Hist.  Soc.  Quarterly,  vol.  2, 
1901,  p.  266. 

'i'2  "Diary  of  Narcissa  Prentiss  Whitman,"  Trans.  Oregon  Pioneer  Association, 
1893,  p.  IDS. 

l^  "Journal  of  Myra  F.  Eells,"  ibid,  1889. 

^■*  Quoted  from  tlie  Oregon  Hist.  Soc.  Quarterly,  vol.  24,  1923,  p.  438. 

"  Idem,  vol.  22,  192 1,  p.  194. 


Major  Harris,  the  same  "Black  Harris,"  who  has  been  mentioned  in  our  moun- 
tain sketches,  and  a  famous  old  traveler,  is  now  at  Independence,  preparing  for 
a  great  expedition  to  Oregon  next  spring.  He  is  connected  with  Major  Adams, 
who  gives  some  excellent  advice  to  emigrants  wishing  to  join  them.  Major  Adams 
says  that  notwithstanding  "large  bodies  move  slow,"  he  can  easily  move  his  ex- 
pedition even  to  the  shores  of  the  Pacific  in  four  months  .... 

Again  on  March  13,  1844,  the  Picayune  mentions  an  article  pub- 
lished in  a  paper  in  Independence,  Missouri,  in  which  Moses  Harris 
corrects  certain  statements  made  by  T.  J.  Famham  respecting  the  road 
to  Oregon.  Harris,  it  is  asserted,  "has  traveled  the  route  over  and  over 
again,  and  knows  every  tree,  creek,  spring,  hill  and  hollow  that  lies  in 
the  way  of  the  traveler." 

After  guiding  the  emigrants  through,  Harris  remained  three  years  in 
Oregon,  engaging  in  road  building  and  exploration.  During  the  year 
1845  he  is  reported  to  have  been  "hunting  a  better  road  than  the  one 
now  [then]  travelled  from  Fort  Hall  to  Oregon  City  ...  He  is  as  fear- 
less as  an  eagle,  strong  as  the  elk,  preferring  the  wild  haunts  of  the 
Indian  and  the  buffalo  to  the  tameness  of  civilized  life."^® 

The  route  down  the  Columbia  having  been  found  difficult  and  a 
number  of  lives  having  been  lost  by  drowning  in  the  passage  of  the 
Dalles,  public-spirited  citizens  of  the  Willamette  had  subscribed  $2000 
in  the  summer  of  1845  for  the  discovery  and  exploration  of  a  new  road 
across  the  Cascade  Mountains.  Elijah  White,  sub-Indian  agent  in 
Oregon,  set  out  with  a  party,  including  Harris,  in  search  of  a  feasible 
pass.  They  traveled  the  whole  length  of  the  east  side  of  the  Willamette 
valley  and  finally,  in  order  not  to  return  wholly  imsuccessful,  explored 
a  short  route  to  the  sea  through  the  Coast  Range."^^ 

White,  Harris  and  six  others  then  started  again  for  the  States  with 
dispatches  for  the  government  and  testimonials  which  White  had 
obtained  in  order  to  secure  the  post  of  governor  of  the  territory.  At 
White's  request  Clyman  wrote  an  account  of  Oregon,  a  draft  of  which 
is  printed  farther  on  in  the  course  of  this  article. 

Harris  left  the  party  near  the  Dalles,  and  some  time  later  was  met 
there  by  Stephen  H.  L.  Meek,  who  had  just  made  a  disastrous  failure 
of  an  attempt  to  guide  a  large  party  of  emigrants  through  the  Cascades 
from  the  head  of  the  Malheur  River.  Meek,  leaving  his  train  on  the 
Des  Chutes,  in  desperate  circumstances,  had  gone  ahead  for  supplies. 
Harris  with  a  few  other  whites  and  Indians  hurried  back  with  pack- 
loads  of  food,  axes,  ropes  and  other  material  to  cross  the  gorge.     A  sus- 

76  5^  Louis  Reveille,  Aug.  25  and  June  9,  1845. 

''''Bancroft,  History  of  Oregon,  vol.  1,  pp.  484-85;  A.  J.  Allen,  Ten  Years  in 
Oregon,  Ithaca,  1850  ed.,  pp.  265-75. 


pension  ferry  was  improvised  and  the  wretched  party  was  conducted  to 
the  Columbia,  where  many  died  of  famine  and  diseased* 

Continued  efforts  were  made,  during  1846,  to  find  a  way  across  the 
Cascade  Range.  Barlow's  trail  over  a  pass  near  Mount  Hood  was,  so 
far,  impracticable.  In  the  spring,  Harris  and  six  other  road  himters 
failed  in  an  attempt  to  locate  a  pass  at  the  sources  of  the  Willamette. 
Another  attempt  was  made  in  May  by  Captain  Levi  Scott  and  a  small 
party  which  again  included  Harris.  They  were  compelled  to  return 
for  reinforcements  to  resist  the  Indians,  but  went  out  again  in  June, 
fifteen  strong,  on  a  final  successful  effort.  Before  starting  they  talked 
with  Peter  Skene  Ogden,  who  told  them  that  the  Klamath  country  would 
probably  not  be  found  passable  for  wagons. 

The  trail  they  explored — one  afterwards  traveled  extensively  by 
Oregon  and  California  immigrants — led  across  the  Calapooya  Moun- 
tains to  the  canyon  of  the  Umpqua,  up  that  and  into  the  Rogue  River 
valley,  thence  southeast  to  the  foot  of  the  Siskiyou  Range,  on  the  old 
California  trail,  thence  across  the  Cascades  to  the  Klamath  River,  Lower 
KJamath  Lake  and  the  scene  of  the  Fremont  massacre  the  previous 
April,  then  by  way  of  Hot  Creek,  the  lava  fields.  Lost  River,  Tule 
Lake,  Goose  Lake,  Lassen  Pass,  Surprise  Valley,  Mud  Lake,  Boiling 
Springs,  Black  Rock  Desert,  Rabbit  Hole  Springs  and  Alkali  Lake  to  the 
California  road  at  the  Great  Bend  of  the  Humboldt  River.'^^  Apple- 
gate  says  that  Harris  ''spoke  the  Snake  language  fluently  and  was  of 
great  service  to  us  on  the  plains"  during  this  expedition. 

An  expedition  to  assist  the  starving  emigrants  on  the  Applegate  road 
was  made  by  Harris  and  others  in  December,  1846.  South  of  the  Cala- 
pooya Mountains  the  people  were  found  "in  bad  shape — mostly  all 
packing  and  some  starving,  some  killed  by  Indians."  Harris  stopped 
on  the  Elk  River  to  help  the  destitute  families.  The  relief  expedition 
was  gone  fifty  days  during  very  cold,  stormy  weather.  "The  public 
is  doubtless  aware  of  the  humane  object  of  our  trip.  It  was  to  relieve 
our  fellow-beings  who  were  suffering  almost  beyond  description  .  .  .  We 
succeeding  in  relieving  many  who  must  have  perished."^®  In  the  next 
year  the  immigrants  by  the  Applegate  road  came  through  in  good  order 

■^8  Cf.  Joel  Palmer,  Journal  of  Travels,  Cincinnati,  1847,  p.  63 ;  also  W.  A. 
Goulder,  Reminiscences,  Boise,  1909,  pp.  124-33. 

"^9  Oregon  Spectator,  April  2,  1846;  letter  of  Nathaniel  Ford,  ibid,  July  9,  1846; 
letter  of  Moses  Harris,  ibid,  Nov.  26,  1846,  in  answer  to  an  editorial  in  ibid,  Oct. 
29,  1846;  Lindsay  Applegate,  "Notes  and  Reminiscences,"  in  [Portland]  West  Shore, 
Sept.,  1877  —  June,  1878,  reprinted  in  Oregon  Hist.  Soc.  Quarterly,  vol.  22,  1921, 
pp.  12-45. 

80  Thomas  Holt,  Journal,  in  Oregon  Spectator,  March  4,  1847.  Thornton's 
denunciation  of  the  Applegate  road  explorers  whom  he  met  at  Fort  Hall  is  criti- 
cized in  Bancroft,  History  of  Oregon,  vol.  1,  pp.  555,  562,  565-66.  Cf.  also  Trans. 
Oregon  Pioneer  Association,  1878,  p.  69. 


while  those  by  way  of  the  Dalles  suffered  the  usual  hardships  of  that 

Harris  left  the  settlements  in  Oregon  on  the  fifth  of  May,  1847,  in 
company  with  seven  men  and  twenty  animals  laden  with  packs  of  robes 
and  skins  for  trading  purposes.  Late  in  June,  at  Pacific  Springs,  near 
South  Pass,  this  party  met  the  advance  guard  of  the  Mormon  pioneers. 
According  to  the  journals  of  Orson  Pratt,  Howard  Eagan,  Wilford 
Woodruff  and  William  Clayton,  Harris  gave  a  discouraging  account  ol 
the  valley  of  the  Great  Salt  Lake,  sold  them  some  goods  and  showed 
them  a  file  of  the  Oregon  Spectator  and  a  copy  of  Sam  Brannan's  Cali- 
fornia Star. 

Clayton  gives  Harris'  description  of  the  land  which  became  the 
Mormon  Canaan: 

Mr.  Harris  says  he  is  well  acquainted  with  the  Bear  River  valley  and  the 
region  around  the  salt  lake.  From  his  description,  which  is  very  discouraging,  we 
have  little  chance  to  hope  for  even  a  moderately  good  country  anywhere  in  those 
regions.  He  speaks  of  the  whole  region  as  being  sandy  and  destitute  of  timber 
and  vegetation  except  the  wild  sage.  He  gives  the  most  favorable  account  of  a 
small  region  under  the  Bear  River  mountains  called  Cache  Valley  where  they  have 
practiced  caching  their  robes,  etc.  to  hide  them  from  the  Indians.  He  represents 
this  as  being  a  fine  place  to  winter  cattle  .  .  .  Mr.  Harris  has  described  a  valley 
forty  miles  above  the  mouth  of  the  Bear  River,  and  thirty  miles  below  the  Bear 
Springs  which  might  answer  our  purpose  pretty  well  if  the  report  is  true. 

Harris  told  Orson  Pratt  that  he  plaimed  to  remain  and  seek  em- 
ployment as  a  guide  to  some  of  the  emigrant  parties.  He  probably 
did  stay  a  few  weeks  in  the  Rockies  since  it  was  his  fortune  to  meet 
Commodore  Stockton,  who  had  left  California  on  June  20,  and  to  pro- 
ceed with  him  to  Missouri .^^ 

It  was  said  that  he  intended  to  return  to  Oregon,  or  more  probably 
to  California,  the  next  spring,  but  fate  had  a  longer  journey  in  store  for 
him.  He  was  seized  with  the  cholera  and  died  on  Sunday,  May  6,  1849, 
at  Independence,  Missouri.  Cholera,  "the  scourge  of  the  country," 
was  then  making  fearful  havoc  along  the  emigrant  routes  and  was 
"carrying  off  large  numbers  of  the  Calif ornians  and  citizens"  at  Inde- 

81 5f.  Louis  Reveille,  Jan.  3,  1848;  Liberty  Tribune,  Dec.  10,  1847. 

82  Warsaw  Morning  Visitor,  May  19,  1849;  Missouri  Republican,  May  13,  1849, 
from  the  files  of  the  Missouri  Historical  Society.  In  an  early  western  story,  The 
Prairie  Flower,  one  of  the  characters,  a  trapper,  guide  and  yarn  spinner  called 
"Black  George,"  bears  a  considerable  resemblance  to  Harris.  Bancroft  {History  of 
Oregon,  vol.  1,  p.  SIS)  indicates  his  belief  that  this  character  is  Harris,  but  farther 
on  in  the  same  work  (vol.  2,  p.  691)  the  statement  is  made,  probably  by  Mrs. 
Victor,  that  the  individual  represented  was  George  W.  Ebberts,  the  "Black  Squire" 
of  the  mountains.  Sydney  W.  Moss  in  his  recollections  (Pioneer  Times,  Bancroft 
Library,  Pacific  MS.  no.  52)  lays  claim  to  the  original  version  of  the  story,  which 
he  says  was  a  true  account  of  his  own  journey  across  the  plains  in  1842.  Moss 
sent  the  manuscript  east  with  Overton  Johnson,  who  turned  it  over  to  Emerson 


Clyman  leaves  a  memorial  to  Harris  in  this  verse,  which  though  not 
intended  as  an  epitaph  might  have  been  appropriate  for  one: 

[On  a  slip  of  paper] 

Here  lies  the  bones  of  old  Black  Harris 
who  often  traveled  beyond  the  far  west 
and  for  the  freedom  of  Equal  rights 
He  crossed  the  snowy  mountin  Hights 
was  free  and  easy  kind  of  soul 
Especially  with  a  Belly  full. 

Bennett.    Bennett  changed  the  names  of  the  principal  characters,  and  published  the 
story  at  Cincinnati  in  1849.     (Cf.  Wagner,  Plains  and  Rockies,  pp.  85-86.) 

It  seems  that  the  author  of  The  Prairie  Flower,  whoever  he  was,  had  been 
well  initiated  into  the  society  of  the  mountains.  Some  of  the  choicest  specimens  of 
trappers'  dialect  in  existence  flow  from  the  lips  of  "Black  George."  A  reading  of 
Moss's  Pioneer  Times  would  scarcely  convince  one  that  Moss  could  have  produced 
literature  of  this  kind.  Suspicions  that  he  did  not  write  the  story  are  strengthened 
by  the  title  page  of  a  copy  of  The  Prairie  Flower,  in  the  Bancroft  Library,  on 
which  the  words  "S.  and  A,  Allen"  are  pencilled  in  place  of  the  printed  name  of 
Emerson  Bennett.  Perhaps  it  should  be  added  that  there  was  a  Samuel  Allen  in 
Oregon  in  1847. 

James  Clyman's  Diaries  and  Memoranda  of  a 

Journey  Through  the  Far  West, 

1844  to  1846 

BOOK  1 

May  1844 

[liside  front  cover'] 

Isaac  Lightner 



S.  C.  Owens 



[The  Oregon  Trail,  Independence  to  Uttle  Blue  River,  May  14 

to  June  30] 

1844  of  May  the  14th  Left  Independence  &  proceded  on  to  West 
port       Roads  extremely  bad  owing  to  the  Leate  greate  rains 

15  at  Westport      morning  dull       slight  rains 

(Cr.  to  $5.00      $5.50 

Lent  Harris $15.25  Cents 

Wm  Fa]lan83 2.00 

about  10  left  West  port      continues  to  rain  all  day      passed  the  head 

of  Blue  River      came  to  camp  at  Elm  Brook      passed  the  methodist 

mission  and  Several  Shawnee  Indian  Formes  in  the  course  of  the  day 

made  18  miles 

16  It  rained  all  night  last  night  in  one  continued  and  rapid 
Shower  This  morning  the  whole  prairie  covered  in  water  Shoe  mouth 
deep  no  wood  to  be  had  except  what  we  had  hauled  in  waggons 
Started  throug  the  rain  about  8  miles  over  a  roling  prairie  covered  nearly 
knee  deep  in  mud  and  Avater  camped  about  Yz  mile  from  timber 
packed  some  up  to  camp  on  our  mules  it  continued  to  rain  all  night 

16  [17]  got  up  our  teams  and  put  to  the  road  again  made  9 
miles  to  Black  Jack  creek  amuddy  desolate  looking  place  about  non 
to  day  left  the  Sant  a  fee  trace  these  are  two  of  the  longest  roads  that 
are  perhaps  in  the  world  the  one  to  Sant  Afee  and  the  other  to 
Oregon  doubled  teams  nearly  all  the  way  Both  teams  Swamped 
down  and  had  to  unload  our  team  breakeing  an  axeltree 

17  [18]  about  9  oclock  it  begain  to  rain  again  it  [rained]  all 
day  so  much  that  we  could  not  finish  our  axeltr[ee]  continued  to  rain 
all  night  and  our  beds  ware  overflown  in  water  nearly  mid  side  deep 

83  Perhaps  the  trapper,  William  O.  Fallon,  who  came  to  California  in  1845  and 
was  one  of  the  notorious  "fourth  relief  of  the  Donner  party.  Bancroft,  however, 
says  he  came  to  California  from  New  Mexico  in  1845. 


19  Sunday  a  dismal  rainy  thick  morning,  all  Brot  to  Stand  about 
11AM  after  a  Tremendeous  Shower  it  Slacked  up  for  the  rest  of  the 
day  got  a  new  axel  tree  in  and  reloaded  our  waggon  Saw  &  picked 
a  considerabble  fine  mess  of  ripe  Strawberies 

20  Thick  and  foggy  the  women  &  children  are  coming  out 
again  haveing  been  confined  to  the  waggons  for  2  days  past  went  to 
a  camp  of  4  waggons  in  the  fore  noon  returned  and  crossed  the 
western  Branch  of  Black  Jack  country  high  roling  Prairie  interspersed 
with  numerous  small  groves  of  Timber  Five  wagons  left  encamped 
a  ^2  mile  Behind  us  Two  men  returned  this  morning  after  some 
cattle  that  had  strayed  away 

afternoon  doubled  teams  and  moved  4  miles  camped  on  a  high 
ridge  in  a  small  grove  of  Brack  oak  2  fine  looking  yong  Ladies  in 

22  Laid  at  camp  all  day  to  wait  for  the  falling  of  the  waters  and 
drying  of  the  roads      2  teams  that  ware  behind  came  up  this  evening 

22  Moved  ahead  8  miles  over  roling  hilly  Prairie  6  miles 
crossed  dirty  muddy  Brook      camped  on  the  waukarusha      Quite  a 
fine  little  rivulet  with  a  fine  dry  bank  on  the  East  Side      Several 
Shawnee  Indians  pased  our  camp  yestarday  and  to  day  a  fine  clear  day 
with  brisk  south  vidnd      dug  a  kind  of  a  road  down  the  bank  &c. 

23  a  fine  clear  night  and  a  pleasant  morning  the  small  river 
Waukarusha  (to)  yet  to  ford  with  teams      walked  out  through  camp 

observed  all  sizes  and  ages  Several  fine  intelegent  young  Ladies 
engaged  one  of  them  to  make  me  a  pair  of  Pantaloons  picked 
some  strawberries  a  handsome  country  fine  land  but  timber 
shrubby  5  waggons  came  up  to  day  2  men  from  the  mountains 
stoped  an  hour  at  our  camp  from  some  of  the  trading  Stations  on  the 
arkansas  a  Lot  of  pack  mules  Likewise  passed  us  on  their  way  to 
Fort  Larrimie 

We  have  been  passing  through  lands  sofar  belonging  to  the  Shawnee 
nation  or  Tribe  of  Indians  nearly  all  of  which  Tribe  have  Quit  hunting 
and  gone  into  a  half  civilized  manner  of  living  cultivating  small  Lots  of 
ground  in  com  Beans  Potatoes  and  grains  and  vegetables  their 
country  is  almost  intierly  striped  of  all  kinds  of  game  but  is  fine  and 
Productive  in  grains  and  Stock  both  horses  and  cattle  Timber  is 
scarce  but  finely  watered  in  part  the  trail  passes  through  The  com- 
pany of  pack  mules  and  ponies  that  passed  to  day  are  a  part  of  Mr, 
Bissenette^s^  and  will  [follow]  7  or  800  miles  of  our  rout 

24  It  rained  all  night  by  day  our  teams  ware  moving  to 
the  river  which  we  had  been  expecting  [to]  fall  but  which  began  to  rise 

8*  One  of  the  traders  at  Fort  Laramie. 

DIARY,  MAY,  1844  61 

again  we  let  down  by  cords  over  a  steep  rock  bluff  through  mud  knee 
deep  an[d]  in  the  rain  pouring  in  torrents  me[n]  women  and  chil- 
dren dripping  in  mud  and  water  over  Shoe  mouth  deep  and  I  Thought 
I  never  saw  more  determined  resolution  even  amongst  men  than  most  of 
the  female  part  of  our  company  exhibited  The  leaving  of  home  of 
near  andear  friend  the  war  whoop  and  Scalping  Knif  The  long  dteary 
Journey  the  privations  of  a  life  in  a  Tent  with  all  the  horrors  of  flood 
and  field  and  even  the  element  seemed  to  combine  to  make  us  un- 
comfortable But  still  there  was  a  determined  resolution  sufficient  to 
overcome  all  obsicles  with  the  utmost  exertion  we  crssed  over  20  wag- 
gons by  about  10  o'clock  when  the  waters  became  too  deep  to  cross  and 
in  about  an  hour  it  rose  so  as  to  swim  a  horse  it  continued  to  rain  in 
rapid  Thunder  Showers  all  day  with  a  strong  S.W.  wind 

25'^  It  slacked  raining  about  dusk  and  did  not  rain  any  during 
the  night  tho  river  rose  6  or  7  Feet  during  the  night  about  8  the  sun 
made  a  (a)  faint  glimering  appearance  all  hands  Buisy  in  contriv- 
ing ways  and  means  to  cross  the  teams  remaining  on  the  oposite 
side  We  had  a  kind  of  an  election  which  resulted  in  the  chois  of 
Col  [Nathaniel]  Ford  for  our  cap^  or  leader  By  a  considerable  of  a 
majority  all  seem  to  enjoy  good  health  not  with  standing  our 
extremely  disagreeable  Situation  and  a  M"^-  [L.]  Everhart  who  is  taking 
a  trip  for  his  health  swam  his  horse  several  times  since  [coming]  here 
and  is  making  rapid  impovements  in  his  health  one  verry  ordinary 
conoe  being  all  we  have  for  a  ferry  boat  our  crossing,  progresses 
verry  slowly  and  the  water  continues  still  riseing 

26  a  fine  pleasant  night  and  a  clear  morning  the  Ladies  passing 
from  Tent  to  Tent  Early  our  ferrying  continues  to  progress  Slowly 
Some  young  men  got  a  hymn  Book  and  sung  a  few  familiar  reformation 
camp  meeting  songs  last  night  which  had  a  peculiar  Symphonic  and 
feeling  Effect  in  connection  with  the  time  and  place.  a  call  was  made 
this  morning  for  a  regular  organization 

J  Crissman  [Joel  Crisman]  8  [votes]  head  oi  our  mess 

S  Crissman  A[ttey].  Neal  7 

J  McKinley  1  P[eter].  Neal  S 

S[amuel]  Walker  5       2  G[eorge]  Neal 

K  [Robert?]  Walker  3  Alex  Neal  6 

J.  M.  Barnette  4  Cal[vin]  Neal  1 

J  Clyman      S  J  [Robert?]  Neal 

B[enjamin]  M.  Robinson  L  EverHart 

L.  Morin  Snooks^^  6 

T.M.Adams  J  Hillhouse 

The  before  Mentioned  men  19  in  number  in  7  waggons  formed  in  to 
one  mess  for  mutual  assistance  in  Traveling  and  encamcamping  near  to- 
geather      about  2  oclock  we  got  all  our  Teams  waggons  and  Baggage 


over  &  assertained  that  there  ware  92  men  present  made  some  regula- 
tions to  prepare  for  keeping  of  a  night  and  day  guard  as  we  are  now  not 
more  (the)  [than]  2  days  easy  travel  from  the  Kaw  Indian  villagis  the 
first  of  the  wild  roveing  tribes  that  we  meet  with  on  our  way  this 
evening  two  waggons  that  ware  in  the  rear  came  up  opposite  side  &  we 
ware  told  that  12  or  15  Teams  are  yet  comeing  on  it  has  been  fine 
and  clear  &  the  evening  pleasant  the  Ladies  gave  us  a  few  hymns  in 
the  afternoon  which  had  a  pleasant  meloncholly  affect 

27  A  great  stir  commenced  early  &  a  little  after  sun  rise  waggons 
began  to  roll  out  at  7  in  morning  we  made  8  miles  in  an  Northerly 
direction  over  a  picturesque  and  rather  hilly  prairie  The  waukarusha 
that  has  given  us  somuch  trouble  &  consumed  so  much  time  is  about  1 2 
rods  wide  running  from  S.W.  to  N.E.  &  Entering  the  Kanzas  or  Kaw 
river  about  8  or  10  miles  below  our  last  encampment  for  the  first  time 
we  have  this  evening  encamped  on  ridge  of  prairie  &  in  the  form  of 
a  hollw  squair  early  in  the  afternoon  it  commenced  raining  again  & 
rained  in  thunder  showers  all  night 

28  The  earth  completely  covered  in  water  at  7  got  under  way 
although  it  continued  rain  a  thick  fine  rain  2  gents  and  myself  started 
for  the  Kanzas  river  with  a  view  of  examining  the  roads  and  the  ferry 
proceeded  on  about  18  miles  to  acreek  &  found  it  verry  high  and  rapid 
being  swolen  by  the  last  nights  rains  turned  loose  our  animals  to 
graze  and  consult  remained  about  an  hour  saw  a  heavy  shower 
coming  up  from  S.W.  Saddled  our  mules  &  after  finding  the  creek 
was  swimming,  (and)  started  back  for  camp  a  tremendeous  shower 
came  on  before  we  fairly  got  saddeld  and  in  10  minuits  we  ware  com- 
pletely drenched  with  rain  it  continued  to  rain  all  the  way  to  camp 
the  roads  being  deep  and  heavey  thee  teams  ware  Scattered  about  2 
miles  in  length  along  the  open  prairie  ridge  on  which  they  ware  travel- 
ing each  one  pressing  on  to  some  shelter  through  mud  and  rain 
became  discouraged  one  by  one  and  stoped  on  the  ground  whare  they 
happened  to  be  many  without  fire  or  cooked  provision  to  nurrish 
them  after  a  verry  tidious  &  toilsome  d[a]ys  drive  I  arived  at  my 
mess  wet  as  water  could  make  me  and  found  them  all  sheltering  them- 
selves in  the  best  way  they  could  about  the  waggons  they  ware  for- 
tunate enough  however  to  have  furnished  themselves  with  a  fair  supply 
of  wood  &  now  commenced  the  tug  of  war  for  the  rain  again  renued  its 
strength  &  fell  in  perfect  sluces  as  though  the  windows  of  heaven  had 
again  been  broken  up  and  a  second  deluge  had  commenced  intermingled 
with  vived  flashes  of  Lightning  and  deep  growling  thunder  which  con- 

^5  Perhaps  the  P.  Snooks  who  was  wounded  in  the  Cascade  fight  during  the 
Yakima  war  in  1856. 

DIARY,  MAY,  1844  63 

tinued  until  about  dark  when  it  slaked  up  for  the  night,  and  here  let 
me  say  there  was  one  young  Lady  which  showed  herself  worthy  of  the 
bravest  undaunted  poieneer  of  [the]  west  for  after  having  kneaded  her 
dough  she  watched  and  nursed  the  fire  and  held  an  umblella  over  the 
fire  and  her  skillit  with  the  greatest  composure  for  near  2  hours  and 
baked  bread  enough  to  give  us  a  verry  plentifull  supper  and  to  her  I 
offer  my  thanks  of  gratitude  for  our  last  nights  repast  Billitts  of  wood 
ox  yokes  Saddles  and  all  kinds  of  matter  now  Became  in  requisition  to 
raise  our  bodies  above  the  water  and  we  spent  a  verry  uncomfortable 
night  in  all  the  forms  of  moisture  short  of  swiming 

29  Truged  around  through  the  mud  and  water  Shoe  mouth 
deep  got  a  bite  of  Breakfast  and  put  to  the  road  again  our  whole 
distance  yesterday  being  about  12  miles  again  made  a  scattering 
drive  6  miles  to  the  Timga  Nunga  the  creek  spoken  of  yesterday  in 
the  afternoon  all  the  teams  came  up  encamped  on  a  fine  dry  Bluff  on 
the  S  side      had  a  clear  night  and  fine 

30  Morning  rode  over  to  the  Kanzas  found  it  verry  full  and  S. 
Bank  overflown  several  teams  crossed  to  day  the  day  fine  &  fair 
saw  a  number  of  the  Kaw  lindians  a  misrable  poor  dirty  Lazy  Looking 
Tribe  and  disgusting  in  the  extreme  To  lazy  to  work  and  to  cowardly 
to  go  to  the  boffaloe  whare  they  frequently  meet  with  their  enemies  get 
a  few  killed  and  return  to  dig  roots  Beg  and  starve  2  or  3  months  then 
make  another  effort  which  may  or  may  not  be  more  successfull  our 
ferrying  goes  on  Slowly  it  being  difficult  to  get  to  the  boat  on  account  of 
the  low  grounds  being  overflown^^ 

31       a  fine  clear  night  and  a  pleasant  morning      M"^  Texes 

S6  Buck,  in  his  History  of  Milwaukee,  quotes  the  following  from  the  Milwaukee 
Sentinel  of  August  11,  1844.    Col.  Elisha  Starr  was  the  editor  of  that  paper: 

We  received  the  following  letter  a  few  days  since  from  Col.  Clyman,  who  is  on  his  way  to 
Oregon  Territory,  with  a  company  who  intend  to  settle  in  that  country.  Col.  C.  was  formerly  a 
resident  of  this  county,  and  will  be  remembered  by  many  as  a  veteran,  who  has  had  almost  as 
many  hairbreadth  escapes  as  the  celebrated  Col.  Crockett,  of  whom  he  is  not  a  bad  representative. 

Tonga  Morga  [Nunga^  Creek,  Four  Miles  West  of  Kaw  Village) 

May  3o,  1844.  ) 

Friend  Starr: — We  arrived  here  yesterday;  thirty-nine  wagons,  about  one 
hundred  men,  and  about  the  same  number  of  women  and  children,  in  all  I  have 
been  but  a  few  days  in  camp,  and  cannot  give  particulars,  with  twenty  or  thirty 
teams  yet  behind.  Forty-one  teams  are  north  of  the  Kansas  river,  and  ten  teams 
three  or  four  days  ahead  of  us.  You  will  perceive  by  this  time  that  we  muster 
about  one  hundred  wagons,  and  from  five  to  seven  hundred  souls,  when  we  are 
fairly  collected. 

We  have  had  almost  one  continued  shower  of  rain  since  we  left  the  settle- 
ments. We  are  commencing  to  cross  the  Kansas  river  today,  which  will  occupy  all 
our  exertions  for  the  next  two  or  three  days.  We  shall  not  all  get  collected  in  one 
company  in  less  than  eight  or  ten  days.  Our  last  and  general  meeting  will  take 
place  on  the  highlands  between  the  Kansas  and  Great  Platte  rivers,  eighty  or  a 
hundred  miles  northwest  from  our  present  position.  The  traveling  thus  far  has 
been  the  worst  possible  (to  be  possible,)  at  all  prairie  encampments,  without  wood, 
and  wallowing  in  mud,  swimming  creeks  and  rivers.    But  all,  thus  far,  have  got 


Smiths^'^  mess  leaving  for  the  Ferry  &  Capt  Ford  followed  our  mess 
remain  to  give  the  women  a  chance  for  washing  pased  on  to  the 
Kanzas  about  16  waggons  having  passed  over  the  river  without  much 

1844  June  the  P  Satturday 
made  4  mils  yesterday  Encamped  on  the  Bluff  near  the  Ferry 
performed  a  singular  and  Farcicle  operation  of  guarding  our  stock  run- 
ning loose  on  the  Prairie  &  found  them  more  scattered  this  morning 
than  if  we  had  let  them  roam  at  (at)  large  a  warm  morning  with  the 
appearance  of  rain  went  out  early  to  get  in  our  horsess  could  not  find 
my  horse  and  a  mess  mates  mule  both  fine  animals  slept  restlessly 
rose  early 

2  Started  in  search  of  my  horse  &  comrades  morins  mule  rode 
around  our  encampment  several  times  and  back  on  our  trail  3  or  4 
miles  at  last  took  the  track  down  the  course  of  the  Kanzas  on  an 
lindian  trail  followed  our  anamals  about  8  miles  when  they  lef  the 
trail  and  went  in  to  a  thicket  whare  our  anamals  had  been  tied  [to]  a 
couple  of  large  trees  and  saw  the  bed  whare  one  of  the  Kaws  had  Spread 
his  couch  near  by  and  taken  a  happy  and  no  doubt  pleasant  repose  over 
his  rascaJy  and  ill  gottin  treasure  after  examination  we  followed  on 
again  over  rocky  bluffs  smoothe  prairies  and  Brushy  thickits  untill  no 
doubt  we  ware  discovered  for  our  anamals  had  been  put  to  the  keen 
Jump  and  run  3  or  4  miles  when  caution  again  was  taken  and  hard 
rockey  Bluffs  again  taken  untill  we  became  discouraged  and  nearly  lost 
orselves      arived  at  5  evening  at  camp 

3  put  to  stand  to  know  what  measures  to  take  to  recover  our  Lost 
animals  crossed  over  the  river  hired  two  Indians  and  made  another 
Trial  to  find  our  animals  went  back  to  whare  we  left  the  Trail  Last 
night  followd  it  5  or  6  miles  to  whare  we  came  to  the  main  waggon 
Trail  about  IS  miles  East  of  our  encamp  9  Teams  having  passed  a 
few  hours  previous  we  could  not  follow  any  further  Returnd  to  camp 
tired  and  dijected  with  fair  prospect  of  making  the  remainder  of  our 
long  Toilsome  Journey  to  oregon  on  foot 

along  well,  and  without  serious  loss  or  accident.     The  ladies  in  particular  have 
evinced  an  uncommon  degree  of  fortitude  and  resignation  under  all  hardships  and 
privations  incident  to  traveling  in  mud  and  water. 
All  right,  go  ahead,  and  no  grumbling. 

Yours  respectfully, 


8"  It  is  not  strange  that  this  gentleman  was  traveling  under  a  pseudonj'm.  He 
was  an  Albany  bank  officer  who  had  absconded.  He  made  a  trip  around  the  world, 
became  a  rich  and  prosperous  merchant,  and  was  finally  exposed  by  an  army  officer 
who  recognized  him.  He  was  driven  to  dissipation  and  ruin  and  returned  to  his 
family  in  the  East.  His  real  name  was  Egbert  Olcott.  Cf.  S.  A.  Clarke  in  Over^ 
land  Monthly,  vol.  10,  pp.  410-15. 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1844  65 

and  here  let  me  remark  that  this  is  [the]  third  season  that  a  con- 
siderabbl  emegration  has  pased  right  through  the  Kaw  village  and 
crossed  the  Kanzas  at  this  place  yet  I  have  not  heard  that  Maijor  Cum- 
mings  or  any  other  agent  or  Interpeter  has  ever  been  here  at  the  time 
they  passed  which  is  certainly  a  great  deriliction  of  the  duties  of  an 
agent  Last  year  I  understand  that  the  Emigrant  [s]  lost  that  never 
ware  returned  3  or  4  horses  &  20  or  thirty  head  of  neat  cattle  and  a 
considerabl  amount  of  other  property  and  we  have  Lost  200  Dollars 
worth  or  horses  mules  and  other  property  which  might  be  mostly 
recovered  if  time  would  permit  and  we  had  an  intirperter  that  would 
look  to  our  intrest  but  as  it  is  we  must  submit  without  recourse  the 
Kaws  are  now  starting  on  their  summer  hunt  and  our  Stolen  horses 
cannot  be  obtained  untill  they  return  which  will  not  be  untill  some  time 
about  the  first  of  august  or  latear 

4^^  a  Thick  foggy  morning  9  clea[red]  off  fine  &  pleasant 
all  hands  still  engage  getting  our  stock  across  the  river  which  is  begin- 
ing  to  fall  one  of  our  Indians  returned  without  finding  our  animals 
nine  Teams  came  up  on  the  oposite  side  of  the  river  I  am  inclined  to 
think  that  there  is  a  much  better  Raut  than  the  one  we  are  taking  By 
crossing  the  Kanzas  at  ferry  on  the  Military  road  leading  from  Fort 
Levenworth  to  Fort  Scott  and  Taking  the  high  lands  between  the 
Kanzas  and  wolf  river  still  Keeping  west  after  passing  wolf  river 
between  the  Nimihaw  and  Kanzas  untill  you  pass  the  heads  of  the 
Nimihaw  you  gain  the  main  high  land  between  the  Kanzas  &  Great 
Piatt  whare  insted  of  Swiming  rivers  you  will  heave  to  shape  your  course 
so  as  to  strike  water  once  or  twice  a  day  and  bear  on  to  the  Great  platt 
near  the  head  of  the  grand  Island 

5  th  crossed  over  the  river  went  10  miles  up  the  river  to  the 
village  of  the  head  chief  a  tall  lean  wrinkld  faced  Filthy  looking  man 
with  a  forehead  indicating  deceet  Dissimilutoin  and  intriegue  and  more 
like  a  Beggarly  scape  gallows  than  a  Chief  but  nodoubt  these  fine 
Qualities  are  higly  prized  by  the  Kaw  nation  after  telling  him 
through  an  interperter  that  whites  wanted  nothing  of  the  Kaws  than  a 
passage  through  their  country  the  water  thy  drank  and  the  wood  thy 
kooked  their  victual  with  all  other  things  that  thy  injured  or  used 
they  would  pay  for  and  that  I  took  it  verry  unkindly  of  him  to  allow 
his  young  men  to  steal  our  horses  and  cattle  He  talked  with  great 
energy  assuring  me  that  if  he  could  See  his  rascally  scamps  with  our 
horses  he  would  immediately  bring  them  to  us  and  assured  us  that  in 
three  days  he  thought  we  might  expect  to  see  our  horses  I  howewer 
put  but  little  confidence  in  his  asseverations  a  clear  warm  day  and 
a  warm  night. 


6  Returned  to  camp  awarm  clar  morning  all  waiting  for  the 
rear  of  our  camp  to  cross  the  river  about  dusk  in  the  evening  Jo  a 
kaw  who  speaks  pretty  fair  English  came  up  to  our  camp  &  told  me 
that  2  young  men  had  been  down  to  the  Shawnees  and  came  back  with 
three  ponies  Suspicions  had  rested  on  these  two  scamps  for  some 
days  past  that  they  had  stolen  our  animals  and  now  the  thing  was 

7  Three  of  us  and  two  friendly  Kaws  started  to  overtake  the  two 
horse  thieves  who  had  followed  a  party  that  ware  starting  out  on  a 
Buffeloe  himt  it  commenced  raining  early  &  continued  all  day 
late  in  the  afternoon  after  swiming  two  creeks  &  wadeing  three  more 
breast  deep  I  arived  at  [the]  village  in  the  midst  of  a  Tremendeous  hail 
storm  And  found  about  20  Drunken  Indians  in  a  dirt  covered  lodge  half 
knee  deep  in  water  Judge  of  my  feeling  a  rapid  hail  Storm 
out  [side]  a  hog  wallow  within  all  in  unison  the  Thunder  Lightning  & 
hail  the  schreems  an  yells  within  and  my  object  to  recover  stolen  prop- 
erty being  instantly  known  all  eyes  ware  directed  on  me  a  loud 
angry  Quarrel  commenced  between  my  Friends  and  enemies  and  my 
situation  was  far  from  being  envious  for  Knives  ware  soon  drawn  and 
one  Flurrished  over  my  head  the  Indian  that  held  it  was  soon  grap- 
pled &  a  half  dozen  ware  as  soon  wallowing  in  the  mud  on  the  ground 
floor  of  the  Lodge 

8  Returned  to  camp  which  had  m.oved  about  12  miles  up  the 
river  did  not  reach  the  camp  till  after  midnight  in  a  tremendious 
thunder  Shower  lay  down  dripping  with  water  and  as  soon  as  I  Be- 
came warm  fell  asleep  and  slept  soundly  untill  day  light  though  the 
water  raised  in  a  perfect  Spring  in  under  us 

9  Sundy 

no  guard  last  night  and  [rose?]  two  horses  and  two  mules  missing 
walked  up  the  creek  a  little  and  saw  the  Moccosin  tracks  under  a  steep 
Bluff  all  explained  the  animals  ware  Stolen  after  a  considerable 
search  found  whare  they  had  swam  the  creek  Capt  Ford  and  10  men 
went  in  persuit  could  not  move  camp  on  account  of  high  water  in 
the  afternoon  Capt  Ford  Discovered  two  Indians  on  high  points  in  the 
prairie  on  approaching  them  he  found  they  were  in  possession  of  his 
lost  animals  and  he  brought  them  to  camp  the  Kaws  said  that  they 
found  the  mules  &  horses  in  possession  of  an  Oto  Indian  whoom  they 
beat  and  whiped  and  took  the  stolen  horses  from  him  and  ware  return- 
ing to  us  with  them  when  cap'  Ford  first  saw  them  but  this  story  did  not 
go  down  with  many  of  us 

lO''*  it  commenced  raining  about  an  hour  before  or  2  before  day- 
light and  rained  all  day  without  a  moments  cesation       the  creek  on 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1844  67 

which  we  are  encamped  bears  the  dignified  name  of  Knife  river  and 
rose  15  feet  during  the  day  the  [Kaws]  that  had  Capt  Fords  Horses 
went  away  to  day  verry  much  disadisfied  not  getting  as  much  pay  as 
they  expected  Several  of  us  tried  to  make  them  understand  that  we 
had  sent  to  Fort  Levenworth  for  an  escort  of  (of)  dragoons  &  hope  it 
may  have  a  good  efect 

11  It  continued  to  rain  all  night  and  is  still  raining  the  prairie 
has  become  so  soft  that  it  will  [not]  bear  the  weight  of  a  man  in  many 
places  Several  persons  are  becomeing  discouraged  on  account  of  our 
slow  progress  and  it  is  almost  enough  to  discourage  the  stoutest  and 
bravest  amongst  us  I  now  see  the  water  spreading  on  all  the  low 
grounds  &  if  it  was  not  for  the  strip  of  timber  it  [would]  have  the 
appearance  of  an  extensive  Lake 

12  No  guard  last  night  it  rained  all  night  but  not  so  rapid  as 
to  keep  the  creek  up  as  it  fell  about  3  feet  8  oclock  we  saw  a  watry 
glance  of  the  sun  for  about  a  minuit  all  camp  regulations  are  lost  & 
each  individual  seeking  a  dry  Sheltered  spot  to  stand  or  lie  down  on 
our  Tents  beds  blankets  clothing  provision  and  every  thing  almost  rot- 
ting and  no  prospect  of  drying  them  and  even  our  cattle  are  Scarcely 
able  to  walk  the  mudy  weather  having  given  them  the  fouls.  It  still 
continues  to  rain  moved  camp  a  ^  mile  to  escape  the  mud  which 
resembled  a  brick  yard  on  our  old  encampment  without  the  least  strech 
of  immaginution 

13  It  rained  all  last  night  verry  rapidly  &  the  creek  rose  again  6 
or  8  feet  10  A.M.  we  saw  the  sun  &  a  general  shout  was  raised 
through  all  the  camp  after  80  hours  steady  rain  we  saw  the  Kanzas 
river  from  the  Bluffs  &  it  shews  8  or  10  miles  wide  the  sun  shines 
pale  and  watry  with  no  fair  prospects  of  clear  weather 

A  great  Dijection  in  camp  as  it  is  imposible  to  overcome  natures 
obsticles  &  many  are  brooding  over  fine  houses  dry  beds  &  pleasant 
Society  all  of  which  are  scarce  here  on  the  bluffs  of  Knife  river  &  the 
distance  and  circumstance  allmost  seem  to  forbid  our  ever  regaining 
any  of  the  comforts  of  civitization  and  verry  little  encouragemet  can  be 
given  to  the  fearefull  and  Timerous 

14'^  A  thick  foggy  morning  but  Some  prospect  of  Better 
weather  sadly  disappointed  we  barly  saw  the  sun  through  thick  foggy 
showers  aand  the  day  closed  in  without  drying  our  clothes  &  provisions. 

15  a  dull  Foggy  morning  without  any  pospect  of  clear 
weather  a  disaffected  camp  without  unity  or  concert  in  any  matter 
except  Sleeping  which  is  performed  by  the  male  part  of  the  camp  to  the 
greatest  perfection      several  complaining  of  the  chollic 

10  oclk  Maijor  Richard  Cummings  arived  on  the  oposite  side  of  the 


creek  on  his  way  home  from  running  some  lines  between  The  Kaws  & 
Pawnees  the  maijor  is  goverments  agent  for  the  Kaw  &  Several 
other  tribes  of  Neighbouring  Indians  &  we  ware  well  pleased  to  see  him 
so  near  us 

16  Sunday 

the  clouds  braking  away  with  a  prospect  of  fair  weather  to  dry  our 
Baggage  one  clear  day  the  first  we  have  seen  for  8  drid  all  our  Bag- 
gage and  commenced  making  a  raft  to  cross  the  creek  the  camp  looks 
Quite  cheerfull  this  evening  and  our  prospects  have  a  better  appearance 
for  Traveling 

17  Commenced  early  to  make  preperations  for  crossing  the  creek 
about  [?]  it  commenced  hailing  from  the  west  but  soon  changed  to 
rain  one  hour  more  of  fair  weather  would  have  seen  apart  of  us  on 
the  other  side  but  such  was  not  our  fortune  and  when  we  will  be  able 
to  leave  the  Bluff  on  which  we  are  encamped  the  Lord  in  his  prove- 
dence  either  of  Mercy  or  anger  only  knows 

At  2  P.M.  the  rain  slaked  up  &  all  hands  to  work  again  we  By 
active  exertion  crossed  over  19  Teams  and  encamped  on  a  miserably 
dirty  muddy  Bottom  that  had  been  overflown  6  or  8  feet  deep  only  24 
Hours  previous 

18  Thunder  &  an  apearance  of  more  rain  a  warm  sultery  dis- 
agreeable morning  &  no  better  pospect  of  dry  weather  than  there  was  a 
month  since  when  the  rains  commenced  against  all  expectation  the 
day  passed  without  rain  and  all  hands  moved  out  about  1  mile  on  the 
Prairie  &  the  sun  set  clear  for  once  at  last 

19  How  Sadly  are  we  freguently  mistaken  when  we  depend  on 
our  own  calculations  for  the  sun  had  hardly  shot  its  last  rays  over  the 
western  horizon  when  a  small  Black  cloud  shewed  itself  in  the  S.W.  and 
the  grumbling  thunder  began  to  growl  &  in  ten  minuits  a  rapid  thunder 
Shower  was  desending  in  torrents  on  us  which  however  was  not  of  long 
duration  for  it  passd  off  to  the  S.E.  &  about  dark  gave  us  a  Splended 
natural  meteorick  Exhibition  the  electrik  fluid  Sparkling  and  flashing 
in  front  &  byond  the  dark  heavy  masses  of  fleecy  cloud  which  shewed 
like  frowning  mountains  Stupendeous  rocks  &  deep  chasms  &  dark 
raviens  illuminated  with  dazzeling  brileancy  too  bright  &  glancing  for 
the  eye  to  dwel  on  &  might  be  truty  be  called  the  Sublime  aweful 
Rolled  out  early  through  the  rain  which  continued  untill  12  o'clock  when 
the  sun  broke  out  had  several  views  of  the  Kanzas  river  which  was 
overflown  from  Bluff  to  Bluff  8  or  10  miles  wide  made  10  miles 
encamped  on  a  narrow  ridge  ^  mile  from  timber  a  Bright  clear 
evining  and  a  fine  view  of  extensive  uneven  Prairie  pospect 

20  A  fine  fair  morning       rolled  out  along  a  ridge  Northwardly 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1844  69 

on  account  of  the  back  water  from  the  Kanzas  made  5  miles  and 
halted  to  look  for  a  passage  over  the  Black  vermillion  Several 
returned  after  some  hours  of  fruitless  search  the  Teamsters  becoming 
tired  of  waiting  took  a  S.W.  Ridge  made  about  5  miles  &  encamped 
a  good  ford  having  been  discovered  on  the  best  course  we  returned  to 
camp  the  day  haveing  been  clear  &  bright  the  highlands  are  becom- 
ing firm. 

2 1  Some  for  Rafting  near  the  mouth  of  the  creek  some  for  returning 
to  the  ford  discovered  and  some  for  hunting  another  ford  after  about 
4  hours  search  another  ford  was  discovered  and  we  rolled  out  to  it 
Distant  3  miles  and  immediate  set  to  work  to  prepare  the  banks  (which 
are  verry  steep  and  muddy)  for  crossing  in  about  2  hours  we  com- 
menced crossing  &  more  than  half  the  teams  passed  over  the  river 
Jordan  (or  vermillion  as  it  is  called)  and  if  Jordan  more  black  &  muddy 
than  this  stream  it  would  hardly  run,  observed  several  marien  shells 
in  flint  rock  and  some  pieces  of  pettrified  wood  (a  fine  clear  day) 

22  A  clear  night  &  a  fine  Beautifull  morning  yestardy  M'. 
Robinson  M""  Morin  &  M*"  [Isaac  W.]  Alderman  Returned  withour 
Sloten  [stolen]  animals  which  ware  taken  on  the  First  of  this  month 
after  Swimming  Sawping  and  wadeing  and  enduring  inumerable  hard- 
ships almost  Beyond  discription  we  once  more  gladly  hailed  our 
messmates  to  camp  They  Likewise  brot  us  some  news  From  civiliza- 
tion The  streams  South  and  east  being  all  overflown  ennumerable 
damage  Sweeping  Fences  Houses  Barns  &  in  fine  distroying  all  kinds  of 
Property  on  the  intervales  so  far  as  heard  from  And  Likewise  infor- 
mation from  the  Political  world  As  it  appears  there  to  there  has  been 
a  great  Troubling  &  Striving  of  the  eliments  the  mountain  having  at 
last  brot  forth  J.  K.  Polk  Cap*  Tyler  &  the  invincible  Henry  Clay  as 
candidates  for  the  Presidency,  go  it  Clay.  Just  whigs  enough  in 
camp  to  take  the  curse  off,  made  14  miles  along  a  narrow  Prairie 
ridge  and  found  fine  water  in  a  little  grove  of  Elms 

23  Sunday 

a  Fine  clear  morning  noticed  a  great  many  granite  Boulders  some 
of  a  Fine  vermilion  Tint  verry  compact  &  handsome  scattered  on  a 
limestone  Strata  At  10  A.M.  Struck  the  oregon  trace  on  Cannon  Ball 
Creek  greate  Joy  at  finding  the  trail  and  a  good  ford  Crossed  over 
without  delay  or  diffculty  except  the  breaking  of  an  axeltree  whiich  was 
repaired  in  3^  an  hour  made  12  miles  and  encamped  on  a  small 
Brook  with  a  Plentifull  scarcity  of  wood  (made  12  miles)  the  country 
verry  uneven  and  broken  in  an  immence  number  and  veriety  of  conicle 
noils  all  Beautyfully  covered  and  clothed  in  grass  But  we  found  the 
ravine  soft  and  deep  &  many  Teams  doubled  over 


24  Rolled  out  at  sun  rise  and  at  11  reached  Burr  oak  creek  a 
deep  dirty  stream  about  10  rods  wide  all  the  Banks  and  bottoms  having 
Been  overflown  found  the  date  of  M"^  Gillhams  [Cornelius  Gilliam] 
company  having  crossed  4  days  previous  crossed  over  in  2  hours 
although  we  had  to  let  down  our  wagons  down  a  steep  Slipery  bank  by 
hand  to  day  struck  our  old  trail  made  on  our  return  from  the  moun- 
tains in  1827  when  I  had  the  honorable  post  of  being  pilot  Some  points 
look  quite  familiar  allthough  I  never  passed  but  once  &  that  time  nearly 
1 7  years  ago  our  evening  camp  in  particular  game  is  verry  scarce  but 
one  deer  having  been  killed      made  14  mils 

25^^*  A  thunder  shower  came  on  early  &  continued  at  entervals  all 
night  found  Middle  camp  creek  overflown  and  it  still  raining 
Rolled  out  at  1  oclock  through  the  rain  &  went  up  the  creek  2  or  3 
miles  to  a  shallow  ford  crossed  over  with  out  difficulty  made  5 
miles  by  the  old  trace  &  encamped  on  the  Smoky  fork  or  Blue  fork  (of 
Kanzas)       found  two  canoes  left  by  those  ahead 

26  a  dull  Cloudy  morning  rolled  up  to  the  place  of  embarca- 
tion  this  stream  is  about  80  yards  wide  and  has  fine  intervale  and 
prairie  lands  based  on  a  fine  white  Limestone  but  timber  is  rather 
scarce  Here  we  had  an  awfull  time  in  crossing  our  Stock  the  Bot- 
toms and  [word  omitted]  being  so  soft  from  the  over  flowings  of  watter 
that  we  had  to  Litterly  drag  our  animals  several  rods  to  swiming  water 
and  again  from  it  and  in  all  probabillity  the  everlasting  hill  never  since 
the  deluge  experianaced  such  a  superabundance  of  moisture  particu- 
larly the  immediate  countery  through  which  we  have  to  pass  got 
more  than  half  our  wagons  over  &  cattle  enough  to  drag  our  wagon  to 
dry  land  about  ^  mile  distant  by  hitching  all  to  one  wagon  at  a  time 

27  a  thick  foggy  morning  it  rained  yestarday  which  is  so  com- 
mon that  I  neglected  to  mention  it  got  all  our  camp  over  before 
night  Mr  Sublett  &  party  arived  on  the  oposite  side  Mr.  Sublett^ 
party  consists  of  20  men  11  of  whoom  are  Sick  and  traveling  for  health 
one  of  which  died  and  was  Buried  this  morning  about  15  miles  East  of 
this  Poor  fellow  Marshall  by  name  his  fair  companion  accom- 
panied him  from  St  Louis  and  tenderly  watched  over  him  to  Indi- 
pendence  whare  thy  seperated  Kind  companion  her  worst  fears  are 
realized  her  Husbands  bones  rest  Quietly  forever  on  the  bluffs  of  oak 
creek  whare  no  noise  disturbes  his  rest  but  the  carrol  of  summer  wild 
birds  and  the  nightly  howl  of  the  lonely  wolf  the  day  proved  to  be 
one  unusualy  fine 

28^^  Left  our  encampment  early  which  was  in  several  respects  the 
finest  we  have  made  consisting  of  a  nice  little  little  grove  of  Hackbery 
&  elm  timber  a  beautifull  Spring  of  cool  clear  water  runing  past  well 

DIARY, JUNE,  1844  71 

Stored  with  goosberry  shrubbery  some  of  which  we  had  for  coffe  Tea 
I  cannot  call  it  as  we  had  none  the  rest  was  covered  with  an  uneven 
ridge  of  Limestone  rock  on  the  east  runs  Blue  river  meandring 
throug  a  grove  of  Hickory  walnut  oak  and  cottonwood  timber  cap*^  with 
fine  conical  green  noils  and  ridges  to  South  lies  the  wally  of  Blue 
revir  a  fine  prairie  soile  &  handsom  little  Brooks  passing  through  our 
rout  to  day  lay  north  westwardly  ovie  rathe  uneven  Prairie  ridge 
Beetwen  the  main  Blue  &  the  wesst  fork  of  the  sane  made  16  miles 
&  encamped  on  the  east  of  the  ridge 

29  A  Strong  South  wind  all  night  with  thunder  Showers  pass- 
ing for  once  they  mised  us  weather  very  warm  &  the  road  soft  & 
heavy  but  fine  Black  rich  soil  Tried  to  Stand  guard  last  night  a 
good  deal  of  grumbling  &  discontent  amongst  those  that  have  horses 
&  those  that  have  none  some  not  even  wanting  a  camp  guard  our 
pilot  Mr  Harris^  22  years  experianc  and  advice  is  perfectly  useless  in 
this  age  of  improvement  when  human  intelect  not  only  strides  but 
actually  Jumps  &  flies  into  conclusions  Traveled  16  miles  over  uneven 
prairie  &  circuitous  crooked  road  Some  miles  migt  be  saved  and  a 
better  track  by  following  the  main  ridge  3  or  4  miles  South  of  the 
wagon  trail  corssed  rock  Creek  late  and  encamped  on  the  W.  side 
[of]  it  a  rapid  shower  of  rain  fell  in  the  afternoon  &  4  or  5  Teams 
came  up  so  late  as  not  to  cross  the  creek  raised  and  at  dark  was 
swiming      another  heavy  shower  fell  at  day  light       (Sunday 

30'^  The  creek  still  rising  and  verry  rapid  this  creek  is  branch 
of  Little  Blue  or  west  fork  of  Blue  river  &  affords  some  usefull  Timber 
fine  grass  &  good  soil  a  verry  warm  day  almost  to  suffication  The 
trace  we  have  been  traveling  follows  neare  the  dividing  ridge  between 
the  main  Blue  &  the  west  fork  and  is  the  higest  land  in  the  country 
one  or  two  teams  that  had  been  2  days  behind  came  up  to  day  Laid 
still  to  day  to  await  the  falling  of  the  creek  that  all  the  teams  might 
get  to  gather  our  camp  is  on  rather  a  sandy  soil  the  first  we  have  seen 
on  upland  since  we  passed  the  waukarusha 


M.  [M]  Warnbaugh  [Wombaugh]88  $2.50 

J.  D,  Perkey89  2.5C 

[Samuel  and  William]  Packwoods  [Packwoodl^o  6.00 

88  Came  to  California  in  1846.  Bancroft  spells  the  name  Warnsbough  and 
Wambough.  I  take  the  above  spelling  from  a  letter  of  his  in  tlie  Oregon  Spectator, 
April  30,  1846,  in  which  he  announces  to  his  creditors  that  he  is  about  to  leave  for 
the  "Spanish  country"  to  "work  in  the  redwoods." 

89  Not  mentioned  in  the  list  of  1844  emigrants  in  the  Trans.  Ore.  Pioneer  Assoc. 
1876,  pp.  40-42. 

^0.  William  Packwood  moved  into  the  Puget  Sound  country  m  1847,  settled 
on  the  Nisqually  River,  and  is  said  to  have  been  "the  first  bona  fide  American 
settler  north  of  Olympia."  He  was  a  member  of  tlie  constitutional  convention  in 


Doty  [N.  R.  Dougherty?]  2.S0 

GUIespie^i  2. SO 

Priest  2.50 

[John  R.  and  John  H.  P.]  Jackson92  &  Co.  3.S0 

[Henry]  Williamson^s  2. SO 

[James]  Hunt  2.S0 

W[illiam]  Smith  10.00 

Howard89  l.SO 

[Isaac  N.]  GUbert^*  2.S0 

Blakesly  [Blakely]95  2.S0 

N[orris]  Humphrey  1.00 

Boyd8»  1.00 

J.  L.  Mulkey  3. SO 

N[athaniel]  Ford^s  11.00 

Alf.  Devenport89  2. SO 

Rolin89  S.00 

Cordel89  4.00 

[James]  Harper  1.50 

W.  L.  Black89  2.50 

Eli  Perkins8»  3.50 

Joel  Perkins97  2.50 

John  Perkins  3.50 

James  Johnson^^  3. SO 

Daniel  Johnson  3.50 

R[uel]  Olas  [Owless]  3.50 

P[oe]  WiUiams  2.50 

Wn  Clark89  2.50 

B[arton  B.]  Lee99  3.50 

J[ames]  Welchioo  3.50 

M.  R.  Perin89  2.50 

Wm  Weer  2.50 

Noyes  Smith  2.50 

Steephens  3.50 

Joel  Chrisman  [Crisman]i*^i  3.50 

[Isaac  W.]  Alderman93  2.50 

Neals-  &  Co-  5.00 

Barnett  2.00 

Evans89  3  SO 

91  Perhaps  the  John  Gillespie  killed  by  Indians  on  the  Rogue  River,  Oct.,  18SS. 

92  John  R.  Jackson  was  one  of  the  first  settlers  in  the  Puget  Sound  country. 
John  H.  P.  may  have  been  the  Jackson  who  went  to  California  with  the  Stephens- 
Murphy  party. 

93  Williamson  and  Alderman  attempted  to  squat  on  Hudson  Bay  Company 
territory  within  a  half-mUe  of  Fort  Vancouver.  The  controversy  over  their  rights 
became  a  famous  one  involving  a  practical  interpretation  of  British- American  joint 
occupancy.  Williamson  is  said  to  have  come  to  California  during  the  gold  rush. 
Alderman  was  murdered  at  Fort  Sutter  in  1848. 

94  Made  first  plat  of  the  town  of  Salem,  Oregon.  He  is  probably  the  same 
Gilbert  to  whom  Clyman  entrusted  the  letters  for  Spaulding  and  Whitman. 

9^  Mentioned  as  a  captain  in  the  war  with  the  Rogue  River  Indians  in  18S6. 

9<'  Elected  Supreme  Judge  at  Champoeg  convention,  April  1845 ;  declined  and 
Burnett  succeeded  him;  elected  county  treasurer  June,  1847;  state  senator,  1866- 
68;    held  other  offices;   died  in  Dixie  Polk  County,  Oregon,  Jan.  9,  1870. 

^"^  There  were  two  of  these,  father  and  son,  one  founded  the  town  of  Lafayette, 
Oregon,  in  the  early  'SO's. 

98  Brought  the  first  flax-seed  to  Oregon.  Homespun  linen  was  manufactured 
from  the  crop  in  1845. 

99  A  member  of  the  Oregon  legislature  in  1845.  Came  to  California  during  the 
gold  rush. 

100  Located  a  claim  at  "Shively's  Astoria,"  in  1846. 

191  The  head  of  Clyman's  mess.  He  was  a  Virginian,  and  died  in  Yamhill 
County,  Oregon,  in  1875. 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1844  73 

Mr-  2  SO 

McMahan  1 00 

Big  Kaw*^  [the  interpreter?]  2  00 

Goffi02  2  SO 

June  the  2Sth   1844 
Expences  incurred  in  getting  lost  Horses 

J  Clyman  paid  Chief 

$2  50 

Young  Indian 

2  50 
2  00 

7  00 

B[enjamin]  M.  Robinson 


Form  Clyman 


Own  Cash 

3  121/2 

Morin     " 


Clyman  again 



L  Morin89  paid 

on  various  occasions 



102  There  were  at  least  three  Goffs  with  the  1844  train,  David,  Samuel  and 
Marion.  David  guided  the  J.  Quinn  Thornton  party  over  the  Applegate  road  in 


BOOK  2 

July  1,  1844 

[Little  Blue  River  to  Red  Buttes  near  the  mouth  of  the  Sweetwater, 
July  I  to  August  14] 

Oregon  Emegrants  Camp 
Rock  creek  July  the  P'  1844 
The  above  named  rock  creek  seems  to  be  almost  arbitrary  there 
being  but  one  rock  seen  &  that  one  a  loose  boulder  but  Lying  right  in 
the  middle  of  the  ford  the  sun  rose  nearly  clear  while  the  grumbling 
thunder  was  heard  to  the  South  the  road  very  heavy  and  several 
wagons  stuck  in  the  low  grounds  &  raviens  small  groves  of  Timber 
seen  either  to  the  right  or  left  some  sand  Shews  itself  in  the  trail  to 
day  which  is  hailed  with  delight  as  being  our  Saviour  from  mud  in 
which  we  have  ate  drank  Traveled  slept  and  breathed  continually  ever 
since  we  left  the  settlements  &  about  2  weeks  previous  made  13  miles 
&  encamped  on  dry  sandy  ridge  near  Cotton  creek  which  runs  S.  West- 
wardly  into  the  west  fork  or  little  blue 

2  A  thick  foggy  morning  walked  about  ^  a  mile  back  on  the 
trail  to  see  a  mountain  of  Petrifactions  this  mound  is  150  or  200  feet 
above  the  level  of  the  small  streams  passing  to  the  south  of  it  &  is 
formed  [of]  grey  lime  rock  near  the  top  which  rock  is  intirely  composed 
of  shells  &  other  manrine  matter  greate  portions  of  it  is  broken  up 
verry  fine  near  the  surface  every  fragment  of  which  shews  a  shell  of 
various  sicess  and  shapes  &  at  least  a  dozen  differant  kinds  another 
Shower  of  rain  fell  this  morning  rode  out  saw  deep  ravine  washed 
out  of  marly  lime  stone  about  8  feet  deep  which  was  intirely  composed 
of  Shells  in  a  solid  compact  form  remained  in  camp  to  day  on  account 
of  high  water       the  afternoon  clear  &  fine 

3  Foggy  cool  with  an  East  wind  Cottonwood  creek  fell  four  or 
five  feet  Last  night  many  of  the  small  Brooks  in  the  Neighbourhood 
completely  choked  up  with  slides  of  earth  froom  the  contiguious 
Bluff  the  Bluffs  &  banks  formed  of  round  wased  gravel  &  Shell  rock 
Based  on  a  strong  clay  bed  10  A.M.  a  Shower  of  rain  Turned  out 
to  Bridg  the  creek  but  returned  to  await  its  falling  Mr.  Subletts  again 
came  up  having  buried  one  more  of  his  invalids  Mr.  Kechup  by  name 
three  days  since  at  his  camp  called  by  him  Ketchums  grave  10  miles 
West  of  Blue  river  M""  Ketchum  was  [a]  yong  man  his  Brother  came 
with  him  and  attended  him  to  his  grave  in  this  greate  wilderness  of 
Prairie  which  streches  in  all  most  all  directions  beyond  the  field  of 

DIARY,  JULY,  1844  75 

4*^  of  July  the  sun  rose  in  pale  misty  magesty  and  was  salutd  by 
Several  guns  forom  thoes  owt  on  the  morning  watch  Soon  after  the 
Stars  &  Stripes  floted  in  the  Breeze  the  american  Jubilee  was  but 
little  further  noticed  than  that  the  star  Spangled  Banner  floated  from 
Esq"^  Rolands^^^  waggon  throughout  the  day  crossed  cotton  wood  and 
left  Fossil  Bluffs  with  all  their  once  numerious  animated  family  and 
made  12  miles  crossed  Sandy  a  Broad  Shallow  Stream  with  sand 
barrs  and  Isleands  running  nearly  S.  W.  into  west  fork  or  little  Blue 
our  rout  to  day  was  near  the  ridge  dividing  Cottonwood  and  West  fork 
and  was  dryer  and  firmer  than  any  12  miles  previously  traveled  over 
allthoug  the  rains  have  been  frequent  and  rapid 

5*^  A  verry  warm  Night  &  a  warm  morning  the  Musketoes 
troublesome  Several  persons  compaining  of  the  Rhumatism  & 
Dyentery  it  thundred  and  Lightned  all  night  allthough  it  did  not 
rain  made  14  miles  over  uneven  Prairie  crossed  4  shallwo  sandy 
Brooks  all  Tributory^  of  west  fork  &  encamped  on  the  last  mentioned 
stream  which  stream  is  about  40  yards  wide  and  runs  rapidly  over  a 
Sandy  bed  course  From  N  W.  to  S  E.  large  intervales  as  much  as  3 
miles  wide  no  timber  except  cottonwood  and  willows  The  wind  from 
the  S  &  air  extremely  warm  at  about  5  P.M.  the  wind  suddenly 
shifted  to  the  N  &  it  insantly  became  cooll  enough  to  want  our  coats 
saw  severall  antelop  to  day  &  for  the  first  [time]  &  some  of  the  men 
killed  one  of  them 

6*^  A  fine  cool  morning  the  wind  from  North  for  the  first  time 
since  we  left  the  Settlement  a  cool  N.E.  wind  all  day  made  17 
miles  up  the  W.  Fork  mostly  on  the  interval  encamped  on  a  low 
bottom  a  Tremendious  thunder  shower  came  up  before  sundown 
which  lasted  untill  9  oclock  two  or  3  dozen  of  fine  catfish  was  caught 
&  in  fact  all  the  tributaries  of  the  Kanzas  seem  well  stored  with  that 
Species  of  fish  and  have  been  easily  taken  when  ever  the  water  has  been 
low  enough  to  permit  us  to  approach  the  main  Banks  of  the  streams 
which  however  has  been  seldom  Mr  Subletts  party  passed  us  to  day 
and  we  are  now  in  the  rear  of  all  the  different  parties  traveling  over  the 
western  praries  passed  some  fine  Bottom  lands  to  day  but  little 
timber  and  that  not  valuable  the  wolves  howled  vehemently  around 
us  last  night 

7"^      Sunday       the  creek  bank  full  this  morning      wind  N.E. 
a  thick  drizzely  morning      the  road  laid  out  from  the  creek  at  the  heads 
of  the  ravines      about  12  The  sun  broke  through  the  misty  clouds  & 
we  stoped  to  water  &  graze  on  the  reshes  which  have  been  plenty  in 

103  Perhaps  Levi  L.  Rowland,  later  Superintendent  of  Public  Instruction  in 


patches  for  several  days  horses  &  cattle  feed  on  them  voraciously 
2  miles  Brot  us  up  to  M"^  Sublett  party  of  invalids  whane  they  had  Just 
finished  intering  Mr  Browning  who  left  this  troublesome  world  last 
night  at  11  oClock  the  season  has  been  the  worst  posible  for  Sick 
persons  generally  allthough  the  3  or  4  consumptives  travelling  with  us 
are  mending  slowly  made  16  miles  to  day  the  afternoon  near  the 
crek  which  has  diminished  since  we  first  came  on  its  banks  saw  some 
Beaver  cutting  for  the  first  observed  the  earth  is  becoming  much 
firmer  notwithstanding  the  rains. 

8*^  Another  Foggy  morning  we  are  beginning  to  camp  in 
Tolerable  order  running  the  wagons  on  a  level  piece  of  ground  and 
forming  a  Square  round  or  oblong  Krale  the  tents  Pitched  on  the  outside 
the  fires  still  on  the  outside  of  the  tents  and  the  guard  outside  of  all 
the  horses  &  other  valuables  in  the  Koral  a  little  afternoon  passed  the 
great  Pawnee  Lodge  trail  leading  South  came  near  Splitting  camp 
there  being  Several  trails  and  as  many  nominal  pilots  but  all  but  one 
wagon  came  up  to  camp  in  the  evening  the  Bluffs  and  ravines  shew  a 
geat  flood  at  some  time  more  vilent  than  any  I  ever  observed  in  the 
states  made  18  miles  and  encamped  on  a  brook  Tribitory  to  the 
West  fork  nothing  but  willows  for  fire  wood  But  we  are  told  that  we 
need  not  expect  any  better  verry  soon  our  course  to  day  South  of 

9  It  thundred  &  Ligtned  all  night  &  Several  Showers  of  rain  fell 
during  the  night  the  morning  fair  several  patches  of  Short  Buffaloe 
grass  made  its  appearance  about  our  camp  made  10  miles  N.W.  over 
deep  cut  ravines  in  a  loose  soft  clay  intermixed  with  fine  sand  en- 
camped on  the  bluffs  of  a  small  Brook  Lying  deep  below  the  suround- 
ing  level  of  the  country  wood  and  water  scarce  &  difficult  to 
approach  Several  Teams  remained  at  last  encampment  to  await  the 
appearance  of  a  young  emigrant  who  came  on  &  overtook  us  at  5  oclock 
P.M.  in  riding  this  forenoon  a  Short  distance  south  of  the  trail  we 
fell  in  a  deep  vally  amid  the  bare  clay  Bluffs  which  realized  allmost  all 
the  fabled  scent  of  the  much  Fabled  Spice  groves  [of]  arabia  or  India 
for  more  than  2  miles  the  odours  of  the  wild  rose  &  many  other  oder- 
iferous  herbs  scented  the  whole  atmosphere  But  the  groves  ware  want- 
ing     nothing  but  gnarled  cotton  woods  ware  seen 

10  A  Light  Shower  of  rain  fell  about  Sun  rise  roled  out  across 
the  devide  between  the  head  of  Kanzas  &  the  great  Piatt  and  from  the 
eye  I  should  Judge  that  the  main  platte  is  as  high  or  higher  than  the 
Kanzas  near  our  last  nights  encampment  a  narrow  row  of  low  sand 
hills  running  paralel  with  and  not  more  than  6  or  8  miles  from  the  platte 
being  the  only  deviding  ridge.       all  the  water  South  of  the  sand  hills 

DIARY,  JULY,  1844  77 

Tuning  into  the  Kanzas  and  none  at  all  runnin  into  the  platte  this  last 
named  stream  being  the  most  mudy  &  in  fact  a  grate  deal  more  muddy 
than  the  Missourie  itself  the  father  of  mud  made  17  miles  & 
encamped  on  the  Piatt  near  the  middle  of  the  grand  Isleand  the 
country  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach  is  as  level  as  a  pond  except  the  low 
sand  hills  before  mentioned 

11"*  A  cool  Pleasant  morning  no  wood  but  a  few  dry  willows 
and  Quite  small  made  18  miles  up  the  south  side  of  the  River  over  a 
level  Prarie  no  timber  except  a  few  cotton  wood  Trees  &  them  all 
confined  to  the  Islands  in  the  river  which  are  numerous  but  generally 
small  the  Prairie  ponds  are  wellIs[t]ored  with  wild  ducks  [these] 
with  a  few  antelope  constuite  all  the  game  yet  seen  &  but  feew  of  them 
precured  a  rapid  shower  of  rain  about  sun  down  This  river  Piatt 
has  a  channel  not  much  less  than  three  miles  wide  and  the  intervale 
from  Bluff  to  Bluff  as  much  as  12  miles  wide  the  bank  from  2  to  4  feet 
high  above  the  water  whare  it  is  4  feet  high  it  is  remarkable  dry  and 
hard  formed  of  a  fine  pale  tenacious  clay  and  fine  dead  sand  remarkabel 
hard  and  smoothe 

12'^  A  clear  morning  and  a  fine  day  but  verry  warm  the  same 
Level  country  the  want  of  wood  and  water  except  the  river  and  the  long 
grass  on  the  lowlands  made  20  miles  and  encamped  near  some  low 
willow  Islands  from  which  we  obtained  dry  willows  sufficiant  to  make 
fire  for  the  night  Several  antelope  ware  killed  to  day  and  a  number 
of  wild  ducks  seen —  had  a  fair  view  of  our  camp  traveling  as  seen 
from  the  Bluffs  about  a  mile  distant  they  made  Quite  a  picturesque 
[appearance]  First  came  a  few  stragling  foot  &  horse  men  ahead  & 
on  the  left  flank  the  right  being  on  the  river  next  a  thick  squad  of 
horsmen  in  front  followeed  by  a  long  string  of  white  looking  wagon 
covers  flanked  with  gentlemen  &  Ladies  occasionally  in  the  rear  a 
long  string  of  Loose  cattle  horses  and  mules  the  tout  assemble  being 
rather  uneque 

13  A  Fair  day  started  early  &  made  about  20  miles  over  a 
level  Planies  &  a  heard  smoothe  road  To  day  the  sand  hill  which 
have  lain  to  our  left  disappeared  and  ware  succeeded  by  dry  clay  Bluff 
cut  into  deep  narrow  ravenis  which  do  not  reach  far  back  into  the  (the) 
country  as  no  streame  that  brings  any  running  water  has  yet  been 
seen  the  high  level  country  South  of  the  ravines  are  Beautifull 
Beyond  discription  handsomely  roling  and  thickly  set  with  fine  Buffalo 
grass  and  Blue  stem  almost  as  soft  as  a  bed  and  luxuriously  covered 
with  wild  sun  flowers  and  several  other  speces  of  yaJlow  Blossoms  which 
are  now  in  full  Bloom  and  scent  the  air  to  a  considerable  distance  with 
a  verry  fine  perfume  as  plasant  as  a  flower  garden 



14*^  It  rained  a  light  Shower  last  night  &  a  thick  cloudy  morn- 
ing M"^  Hinman^°*  who  [went]  south  into  the  Bluffs  to  shoot  ante- 
lope did  not  return  turned  [out  the]  men  this  morning  to  hunt  for 
him  no  place  in  the  world  looks  more  lonesome  and  discourageing 
than  the  wide  Prairies  of  this  region  neither  tree  bush  shrub  rock  nor 
water  to  cherish  or  shelter  him  and  such  a  perfect  sameness  with  a 
alusive  ridge  all  around  you  meeting  the  Horozon  in  all  directions 
you  Suppose  your  course  to  lie  over  some  one  of  those  horizontal  ridges 
when  after  several  hours  anxious  fatigue  you  suppose  you  are  about  to 
assend  the  highest  pinacle  and  some  Known  Land  mark  what  is  your 
diapoimtmint  to  find  ridge  rise  beyond  ridge  to  the  utmost  extant  of 
human  vision 

15  Rol<^.  out  unusually  early  found  the  road  quite  sloppy 
The  weather  close  and  warm  and  the  mosquetoes  thicker  than  I  ever 
saw  in  any  place  to  continue  for  a  whole  day  as  they  (as  they)  did  here 
until  dark  when  they  eased  off  &  we  had  a  fair  nights  rest  the  course 
of  the  river  nearly  due  west  [down]  the  valy  [to]  the  extensive  level 
plain  Timber  still  more  scarce  and  for  miles  nothing  seen  but  now 
and  then  a  Junt  of  shrubby  Cottonwood  or  a  dwarf  willow  made  20 
miles  recent  Tracks  of  Buffaloe  seen  in  Qualities  but  the  animal 
himself  Kept  out  of  Sight  rode  out  south  onto  the  Bluffs  and  saw  an 
undiscribeable  country  of  hills  Bluffs  and  deep  cut  ravines  through  a 
pale  y allow  clay  soil  some  of  which  are  100  feet  perpendicular  the 
great  reservoirs  of  mud  which  lie  here  in  reserve  for  the  next  rain 

16  A  clear  morning  all  though  it  thundred  and  Lighned  in  all 
directions  Throughout  the  night  all  the  companis  of  Oregon  Emi- 
grants mountaineers  &  califorornians  &c  &c  ahead  of  us  had  had 
buffaloe  for  several  days  &  being  anxious  my  self  to  get  amess  I  laid  my 
couse  S.W.  over  the  cut  Bluffs  nearly  perpendicular  and  passed  main 
rang[e]  the  country  became  more  regual  and  level  found  the 
Buffalo  in  great  Quantities  Killed  one  verry  fine  one  loaded  my 
mule  and  started  for  camp  had  hard  riding  to  pass  the  cut  Bluffs  & 
obtain  the  open  plain  through  which  the  river  passes  before  sundown 
But  here  commenced  our  Toils  the  camp  having  made  18  miles  at  12  of 
which  we  had  to  ride  after  night  the  moketoes  with  uncommon  Blood 
thirsty  appetite  commenced  &  ware  Litterly  so  thick  that  with  all  our 
exertions  we  could  hardly  breath 

i04AIanson  Hinman's  reminiscences  were  published  in  the  Oregon  Hist.  Soc. 
Quarterly,  vol.  2,  1901.  He  traveled  in  Ford's  party  until  it  reached  the  present  site 
of  Baker  City,  when  under  the  guidance  of  Black  Harris  he  went  to  the  Whitman 
mission  at  Waiilatpu  for  supplies.  Later  he  entered  Whitman's  employ  and  was 
put  in  charge  of  the  mission  station  at  The  Dalles. 

DIARY,  JULY,  1844  79 

17  La[s]t  night  we  passed  Mr  Gilhams  company  &  they  repassed 
us  again  in  this  morning  we  have  now  arived  at  the  dry  &  thirsty 
clay  soil  which  is  always  hard  or  if  soft  melts  &  runs  with  the  water  so 
thick  that  you  can  not  see  aparticle  of  the  whitest  matter  the  3^  of  an 
inch  below  its  surface      Made  12  miles  &  passed  the  Junction  of  the 

5  &  N  Branchs  of  Platte  which  Junction  is  in  a  verry  low  wet  country 

6  only  a  fieu  inches  above  the  surfac  of  the  water  Several  Hunters 
ware  out  to  day  all  returned  Brot  Quantities  of  meat  some  verry  fine  & 
all  good  I  am  sorry  to  Say  that  I  was  mistaken  about  the  Hunters 
all  returning  4  men  did  not  return  and  great  anxiety  is  [felt]  on 
account  of  them  3  with  families  &  2  of  the  women  driving  the  Teams 
for  2  days  past  arived  at  our  supposed  ford  and  making  preperations 
to  cross  over 

18  It  rained  a  light  shower  last  night  after  which  the  (the)  wind 
changed  to  the  N.  &  we  had  afine  coll  night  &  a  pleasant  fair  morning. 
Cooked  our  Supper  last  night  with  Buffaloe  dung  called  chips  in  a 
modest  way  Such  an  article  as  wood  (being)  not  being  found  18 

Crossed  the  S.  Fork  of  the  Platte  river  without  the  least  difficulty 
over  a  loose  sandy  shallow  ford  and  encamped  on  the  smoothe  level 
Prairie  about  2  miles  form  our  last  nights  encampment  the  bluffs  in 
the  contigous  contry  in  many  Places  shew  a  fine  loose  limestone  which 
gives  it  a  white  appearanc  at  a  distance  Soil  dry  and  hard  bearing 
the  fine  Buffaloe  grass  but  no  timber  had  a  pleasant  cool  day  for 
July  the  [valley]  narrowed  down  to  about  4  or  5  miles  in  width  but 
level  as  heretofore 

19  A  cool  clear  morning  all  it  Thundred  and  Lightned  in  sev- 
eral Directions  last  night  our  4  lost  himters  returned  after  wandring 
3  days  &  2  nights  over  the  boundless  Prairies  and  allthough  the  summer 
is  far  advanced  our  prosspects  wore  a  bette[r]  face  for  crossing  the 
mountains  before  winter  made  5  miles  and  encamped  on  accoun  of 
one  of  the  Ladies  being  to  sick  to  travel  Rode  out  on  the  hills  devid- 
ing  the  N.  &  S.  Forks  (which  in  appearance  are  nearly  the  same  vollume 
of  water)  Found  the  ridges  dry  &  hard  composed  mostly  of  rounded 
granite  gravel  undelaid  with  strato  of  soft  marly  Limestone  several 
male  Buffaloe  ware  see[n]  from  camp  and  one  large  herd  containing 
Several  hundreds  on  the  opposite  Side  of  the  river  nothing  in  the 
character  of  a  spring  or  Brook  of  ruiming  water  has  been  seen  since  we 
came  on  the  platte 

20  A  Beautifull  (clear)  clear  cool  morning  the  finest  we  have  yet 
seen  a  Light  west  wind  and  clear  atmophere  imence  beards  of 
Buffalo  seen  from  the  hills  near  camp  on  the  plains  Beyond  the  river 


4  days  since  we  overtook  M""  Gilhams  company  of  Oregon  Emigrants  & 
yesterday  an  arangement  was  entered  into  for  the  traveling  in  the  neare 
vicinity  of  each  other  &  encamping  nofurther  apart  than  necessary  for 
the  good  of  our  stock  so  that  our  entire  company  makes  96  Teams 
wagons  &  occupies  with  loose  stock  &  all  more  than  two  miles  of  toler- 
able close  collumn       16  [miles] 

no  preceveable  alteration  in  soil  or  river  or  ajjeareance  of  country 
except  the  uplands  are  dryer  &  harder  &  on  the  Bottoms  a  fair  appeare- 
ance  of  salt  mixed  with  several  other  mineral  substances 


21  A  Slight  Shower  of  rain  fell  about  sundown  yestarday  evening 
&  several  others  during  the  night  a  clear  morning  cole  &  pleasant 
made  14  miles  up  the  N.  Side  of  the  S.  Fork  of  Platte  over  dry  Prairie 
intervale  as  fine  a  road  as  any  in  the  union  or  even  the  world  great 
Quntitees  of  Buffaloe  seen  a  few  miles  from  the  trail  but  verry  few 
imediately  on  the  rout  owing  to  several  small  companies  of  malcontents 
going  ahead  and  driveing  them  away  But  our  Hunters  have  been 
able  to  keep  our  camp  well  supplied  with  the  finest  kind  all  Ladies 
Gentleme[n]  Children  and  all  with  the  greatest  uninimity  agree  that 
this  is  the  finest  richest  sweetest  living  of  any  they  have  ever  experi- 
enced and  aJl  hope  that  they  may  last  far  long  &  broad  without  stint  or 

22  a  warm  evening  last  and  a  warm  morning  this  the  mosque- 
toes  verry  troublesome  the  first  time  we  have  been  much  troubled  in 
camp  allthough  they  cover  a  single  individual  horse  and  all  in  a  few 
minuits  of  evenings  &  mornings  for  the  last  10  days  if  he  happen  to  be 
out  alone  Quantities  of  Buffalo  in  sight  all  day  to  day  made  7 
miles  to  the  point  whare  we  leave  the  S.  Fork  &  cross  over  the  ridge  to 
the  N.  Fork  a  verry  warm  day  without  scarcely  a  breath  of  air  to 
keep  down  the  flies  &  Moketoes  country  the  same  except  that  their 
has  been  a  Tremendious  Shower  rain  not  long  since  which  has  flooded 
all  the  ravines  &  given  life  &  vigor  to  all  Fly  &  Moketoe  tribe  &  the 
warm  weather  has  given  them  keen  appetites. 

23  Contrary  to  all  the  k[n]own  rules  of  Traveling  in  this  country 
a  number  of  horses  &  mules  run  loosse  last  night  &  Likewise  acording  to 
a  well  known  Phraze  15  or  20  came  up  missing  this  morning  a  fine 
cool  day  for  crossing  the  interminable  Prairies  rolled  out  early 
nearly  a  north  course  found  by  good  luck  and  unexpectedly  several 
ponds  of  water  about  noon  Likewise  passed  an  extensive  prairie  dog 
village  containing  3  or  400  acres  of  Land  thickly  settled  with  an  active 
population  living  remote  forom  every  thing  but  grass  &  weeds  which 
constitutes  their  entire  subsistance      made  22  miles  &  encamped  at 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1844  81 

dark  on  (on)  the  South  bank  of  the  N  Fork  in  excelent  grazing  which  is 
verry  extensive  the  intervales  being  6  or  8  miles  wide  not  a  stick  of 
Standing  timber  in  sight  in  any  direction  The  Bluff  down  the  river 
formed  of  Lime  stone 

24  The  coolest  morning  we  have  experianced  with  a  brisk  N 
wind  all  pleasan  &  animated  on  account  of  our  late  good  roads  & 
rapid  traviling  did  not  travel  to  day  an  odd  Butle  of  washing 
shaveing  cleaning  &  repairing  it  being  the  first  since  the  4*^  when  we 
left  Fossil  Bluffs  to  the  east  risis  steep  Limes  [t]  one  cliffs  all  most 
perpendicular  near  100  feet  high  worn  into  all  manner  of  Shapes  by  the 
action  of  the  wind  This  stream  is  a  Counterpart  of  Stream  we  left  at 
our  last  encampment  Except  that  it  is  not  so  muddy  being  more  than  a 
mile  in  width  generally  shallow  &  running  rapidly  over  loose  floating 
sand  no  place  more  than  5  feet  deep  Quantities  of  Saline  Substances 
making  their  appearance  on  the  surface  in  Evenings  of  clear  days  the 
opposite  side  of  the  river  shew  high  rounded  sand  hills 

25*  Fair  with  a  light  east  wind  and  plesanly  cool  moved  of  at 
an  Early  hour  Singular  as  it  may  seem  this  Stream  like  the  last  has 
no  tributarys  falling  into  it  from  either  side  the  Loup  or  wolf  fork 
falling  in  below  drains  all  the  immence  Sand  plains  N.  to  the  Shianne 
which  is  the  first  stream  nothe  that  takes  its  waters  from  the  highlands 
or  mountains  made  about  18  miles  partly  loose  Sand  &  partly  a 
Tenacious  light  coloured  clay  verry  fine  &  close  &  in  places  white  as 
pipe  clay  the  Limestone  ledge  nearly  dissap[ear]ed  Toward  evening 
and  was  succeeded  with  clay  and  Sand  bluffs  but  not  near  so  high  in 
the  evening  passed  the  Broad  channel  of  a  brook  with  a  little  shallow 
water  rippling  over  the  sand  the  first  water  we  have  seen  running  into 
the  Main  Piatt  or  its  Branches  since  we  struck  that  river  no  Buffalo 
seen  on  the  N  Fork 

26  A  light  shower  of  rain  fell  about  dusk  last  night  a  clear 
warm  morning  Pased  one  mud  hole  the  first  on  the  Platte  made  1 7 
miles  over  the  usual  level  Prairie  one  or  2  Shrubby  hackberry  trees 
seen  through  the  day  and  passed  some  scattering  clumps  of  pine  to  the 
South  of  our  track  theat  at  the  distance  shew  rough  uneven  and  rocky 
the  Bluffs  shew  close  to  the  water  on  the  oposite  side  of  the  river  in 
many  places  the  day  clar  and  warm  throughout  and  the  evening 
Remarkably  light  and  pleasant  with  a  bright  moon  the  (the)  chimny 
rock  was  said  to  be  visable  but  I  did  not  see  it  allthough  I  watched 
close      No  Buffaloe  seen  since  we  left  the  S  Fork 

27'^  A  clear  cool  morning  the  Ladies  pleasant  animated  and  in 
fine  Spirits  which  make  a  fine  contrer  part  to  the  morning  Early  we 
came  in  sight  of  the  noted  chimney  rock  at  the  supposed  distance  of  30 


miles  it  rises  perpendicular  and  alone  and  looked  like  an  old  dry  stub 
not  larger  in  appearance  than  your  finger  4  or  5  miles  from  our  noon- 
ing raises  a  bank  of  clay  &  rock  having  all  the  appearanc  of  some  old 
castle  of  circular  shape  the  spire  having  been  Blown  down  the  main 
walls  and  dome  roof  in  a  good  state  of  preservation  and  still  shewing 
the  even  range  work  of  rubble  rock  of  which  the  structure  was  formed 
made  20  miles  over  the  level  intirmenable  Prairie  But  not  so  tiresome  as 
their  was  Quite  a  veriety  in  sight  the  chimney  rock  changed  its 
appearance  &  Shewed  like  a  large  conicle  fort  with  a  Tremendeous 
large  &  high  flag  staff  &  top  taken  off  with  out  towers  and  (&)  various 
fixtures  of  defence 

28  Sunday  Fine  and  dry  not  a  drop  of  dew  fell  last  night 
which  circumstance  is  not  uncommon  in  the  region  of  country  we  are 
now  approaching  all  our  sick  of  old  cronic  disorder  begin  to  ware  a 
healthy  appearance  &  active  elastick  movement  nooned  opposite  the 
chimny  rock  Scotts  Bluffs  in  full  vieu  ahead  on  the  whole  the  vieu  in 
all  directions  Singular  and  Picturesque  emmence  level  plains  east  the 
river  a  mile  wide  meandring  along  but  your  eye  can  not  tell  at  a  short 
distance  which  way  the  water  runs  the  chimny  rock  with  rugged 
Bluff  from  which  it  has  sometimme  or  other  been  parted  south  Scotts 
Bluffs  like  a  walled  and  fortified  city  with  immenc  out  works  west 
a  ruged  chain  of  Spercely  pine  timbred  hill  in  the  back  ground  the 
river  a  broad  vally  &  a  distant  chain  of  Barren  hills  to  the  North 
made  22  miles 

29  My  Page  being  entirely  full  yestarday  I  had  not  room  to  say 
That  A  light  shower  of  rain  fell  in  the  afternoon  which  collected  &  com- 
menced falling  not  more  than  J/2  a  mile  ahead  of  our  camp  Keen 
claps  of  thunder  with  a  profusion  of  Electrick  fluid  playin  in  all  direc- 
tions in  a  dry  clear  sky  set  the  dry  grass  on  fire  in  several  places  in  sight 
of  our  traveling  caravan  which  was  soon  Extinguished  by  the  rain  Just 
mentioned  Left  the  River  and  struck  S.  of  W.  14  miles  and  encamped 
in  the  midtst  of  Scotts  blufs  By  a  cool  spring  in  a  romantic  &  pictur- 
isque  vally  surounded  except  to  the  E.  by  high  &  allmost  impassably 
steep  clay  cliffs  of  all  immagenary  shapes  &  forms  supped  on  a  most 
dlecious  piece  of  venison  from  the  loin  of  a  fat  Black  taild  Buck  and  I 
must  not  omit  to  mention  that  I  took  my  rifle  and  (and)  walked  out  in 
the  deep  ravin  to  guard  a  Beautifull  covey  of  young  Ladies  &  misses 
while  they  gathered  wild  currants  &  choke  chirries  which  grow  in  great 
perfusion  in  this  region  and  of  the  finerst  kind 

30  Roled  out  over  the  last  rid'ge  of  Scotts  Bluffs  which  is  a  ridge 
or  connetion  of  highland  commencing  on  the  river  &  rurming  South- 
wardly as  far  as  vlsably  rising  in  many  places  from  600  to  1000  feet  high 

DIARY,  AUGUST,  1844  83 

formed  of  clay  &  a  verry  fine  dead  sand  &  occasionly  a  thin  layer  of  Soft 
Limestone  which  last  mentioned  layers  protects  the  Softer  parts  from 
the  ravages  of  Storms  of  wind  &  rain  The  whole  range  apears  to  have 
been  once  the  common  level  of  the  country  but  owing  to  solible  Qualities 
of  the  earth  the  main  Bulk  now  forming  the  low  grounds  have  been 
carried  away  with  the  water  which  opperation  is  still  in  active  oppera- 
tion  these  hills  are  finely  stored  with  game  Such  as  Black  tailed  deer 
antelope  mountain  Sheep  &  some  times  Buffaloe  Elk  &  grisled  Bear  I 
I  must  not  omit  to  mention  a  singularity  on  a  vally  we  pased  yestarday 
which  was  covered  in  all  parts  with  Quantities  of  dry  logs  &  wood 
the  only  reasonable  conjecture  with  me  was  that  the  vally  some  10  or  12 
miles  in  [IJength  &  8  or  10  wide  has  no  channel  for  the  discharge  of 
the  water  from  the  surrounding  hills  [which]  occasionally  in  winter 
become  deeply  frozen  considerable  snow  falling  which  goes  off  with  a 
sudden  thaw  all  the  mountain  torrents  come  rapidly  down  charged 
with  drift  the  water  filling  the  wally  diposits  its  drift  on  the 
Shores  &  Islans  of  the  newly  formed  lake  which  soon  finds  a  passage 
through  the  sandy  soil  on  which  it  rests  we  had  a  destinct  &  clear  but 
distant  view  of  the  Black  hills  from  the  hights  this  morning  made  14 
miles  &  encamped  on  the  river      crossed  horse  creek  about  noon 

31  A  fine  clear  cool  morning  a  dry  camp  clear  cool  water  and 
fine  grazing  the  moon  Shone  clear  as  day  allmost  during  the  whole 
nigt  about  one  third  of  our  company  remaind  to  recruit  their  lame 
Stock  the  Prairies  ware  on  fire  in  Several  directions  last  night  and  all 
the  uplands  look  dry  and  parched  made  14  miles  over  dry  &  verry 
dusty  road  We  have  been  following  A  recent  lodge  Trail  of  moveing 
Indians  for  some  days  But  have  not  been  able  to  overtake  them 
several  persons  went  ahead  to  day  to  await  us  at  the  fort  supposed  to 
not  be  more  than  20  or  30  miles  considerable  Quantities  of  cotton- 
wood  made  it[s]  appearance  on  Bottoms  &  islands  to  day  as  Likewise 
drift  pine  along  the  Shores  Several  flocks  of  wild  [fowl]  seen  to  day 
on  the  dry  bars  of  the  river  the  mountains  do  not  change  their 

Thursday  the  P'  of  August  Dry  clear  warm  day  cool  Beautifully 
fine  nights  with  Scarcely  any  dew  or  moisture  to  dampen  a  blanket  of 
those  that  sleep  out  in  the  open  air  Soil  a  fine  whiteish  clay  mixed 
with  sand  usually  verry  fine  but  sometimes  moderately  coarse  about 
4  oclock  in  the  afternoon  we  hove  in  sight  of  the  white  Battlments  of 
Fort  Larrimie  and  Fort  Platte  whose  white  walls  surrounded  by  a  few 
Sioux  Indian  Lodges  shewed  us  that  Human  life  was  not  extinct  this 
being  the  first  we  have  seen  since  we  left  the  Kaws  the  various  Emi- 
grants Excepted      crossed  the  Larrimie  river  a  clear  fine  Streean  about 


80  yards  widte  only  about  half  of  the  channel  filled  with  water  2  feet 
deep  Several  persons  getting  scant  of  Flour  Some  to  be  had  here 
(at)       Superfine  at  40  dollars  a  barrel      Spannish  at  30 

2°^  Clear  cool  nights  &  mornings  verry  warm  days  Remained 
in  camp  to  day  trading  and  waiting  for  Blacksmith  and  other  repairs 
went  down  to  the  fort  after  writeing  to  my  Friend  Starr  of  the  Mil- 
waukie  Sentinell  and  found  no  prospect  of  his  recieving  my  communica- 
tion verry  soon  but  I  left  the  letter  hoping  that  he  m[a]y  recieve  it 
Soon^^^  I  tried  to  trade  some  but  found  even  the  products  of  the 
country  verry  high  I  purchased  a  dressed  deer  skin  for  2.50  cents 
and  returned  to  camp  satisfied  that  money  was  allmost  useless  while  all 
kinds  of  grocerys  &  Liquors  ware  exorbitantly  high  for  instance  sugar 
1.50  cents  per  pint  or  cupfull  and  other  things  in  proportion  Flour 
Superfine  1.00  dollars  per  pint  or  40  dollars  per  Barrel  Spannish 
30  no  dried  Buff  aloe  meat  could  be  had  at  any  price  so  our  stores  of 
provision  did  not  increase 

3  Roled  out  over  the  parched  hills  and  soon  lost  singht  of  the 
white  washed  mud  walls  of  Fort  Larrimie  &  her  twin  Sister  fort  Piearre 

made  1 2  miles  over  the  dry  parched  hills  which  make  a  verry  Singu- 
lar appearance  dotted  all  over  with  Shrubby  Junts  of  dark  looking  Pine 
and  cedars  rootted  in  the  white  dry  weather  worn  Lime  rock  which  in 
many  places  shews  like  chalk  banks  &  appears  to  be  formed  of  Strong 
white  marly  clay  dried  by  the  sun  and  formed  into  rough  Solid  masses 
of  rock  without  much  form  or  regular  Stratification  and  affording  but 
feew  Springs  and  no  brooks  as  the  water  rises  and  Sinks  occasionly 
along  their  gravelly  beds  encamped  by  one  of  those  Springs  which  is 
a  fine  Strong  rapid  Spring  but  disappears  in  less  than  ^  mile  amongst 
hight  white  rocky  cliffs  which  Surround  us  in  all  directions 

4  Sunday  it  thundred  and  Lightned  consideraby  about  dusk  & 
rained  a  few  drops  but  the  sun  rose  in  beautfull  majesty  over  her 
parched  cliffs  this  morning  as  it  rains  but  little  in  this  region  Made  8 
miles  over  the  same  Kind  of  dry  hard  thirsty  country  as  yestarday  and 
encamped  on  the  dry  sand  barr  of  Sandy  creek  a  little  rill  of  warm 
muddy  mean  tasted  water  was  all  that  dignified  this  broad  channel  of 
more  than  100  yards  broad  crossed  over  the  Bluffs  &  hills  with  our 
guns  after  camping  to  the  river  which  here  runs  through  a  deep  cut 
channel  of  Solid  Lime  stone  more  than  1000  feet  deep  7  or  800  of  which 
is  perpendicular  and  not  more  at  the  top  than  3000  feet  wide  coming  up 
from  the  south  with  allmost  level  Prarie  I  neglected  to  mentian  that 
the  Junction  of  Platte  &  Larrimie  is  immediately  below  the  back  hills 

*05  This  letter  has  not  been  found  in  the  Milwaukee  papers. 

DIARY,  AUGUST,  1844  85 

Both  isuing  from  deep  cut  rocks  a  Short  distance  above  through  which 
they  pass  for  more  than  40  miles  with  a  few  intervining  small  vallies  or 
open  spaces 

5  Shortly  after  dark  their  came  on  a  thunder  Shower  with  such  a 
Squall  of  wind  that  allmost  all  our  Tents  ware  fluttering  on  the  ground 
in  a  moment  the  large  cold  drops  of  rain  pelting  us  furiously  all  over  & 
not  even  sparing  the  delicate  Ladies  &  small  children  which  ran  helter 
skeltter  in  all  directions  seeking  for  shelter  from  the  storm  which  was 
of  Short  duration  Passed  up  our  Shallow  stream  west  &  soon  came  to 
a  beautifull  running  brook  with  a  fine  intervale  well  clothed  with  timber 
&  much  the  handsomest  place  we  have  yet  seen  well  clothed  with  green 
vegetation  &  is  one  of  the  green  spots  so  sldom  seen  in  this  arid  scorched 
region      but  this  beautiful  vally  did  not  last  long  for  after  passing 

.  about  6  miles  up  we  left  it  &  turned  up  north  along  a  dry  sandy  bed  of 
what  is  sometimes  a  brook  and  assended  up  it  to  its  extreme  eastern 
head  whare  we  assended  a  beautifull  smoothe  roling  ridge  covered  with 
scattereing  pines  from  which  we  had  the  finest  view  which  can  be  had  in 
this  romantick  country  the  immediate  country  dry  &  beautifully 
smooth  &  roling  into  Knobbs  to  the  south  a  distant  &  extensive  view 
of  appearantly  smooth  level  prarie  turning  your  head  to  S.  W.  &  W. 
an  extensive  view  of  the  roughest  &  most  raged  mountain  in  all  this 
rough  region  mellowed  down  by  the  distance  into  smoothe  sharp  pinecles 
with  others  rising  in  the  back  ground  to  a  great  hight  turning  to  the 
north  a  large  uneven  vally  makes  its  appearance  filled  with  finely 
rounded  ridges  &  butes  intermingled  with  vallies  to  the  utmost  reach  of 
vision  turning  to  the  East  is  perhaps  the  most  singular  of  all  you  have 
an  extensive  view  of  the  greate  Kenyon  Through  which  the  river  passes 
and  in  the  distance  is  a  crowded  view  of  rounded  butes  &  would  resemble 
the  larges  assemblage  of  Arabian  lodges  that  ever  encamped  togather 
and  of  nearly  all  the  shades  of  colour  from  red  to  white  &  occasionally, 
black  being  covered  with  the  tufted  pine  and  cedar  all  handsomely  ex- 
hibited in  light  &  shade  by  a  clear  afternoon  Sun  made  20  miles  the 
last  4  or  5  rather  rough  &  heavy  on  account  of  the  deep  sand  at  our 
camp  on  horse  shoe  creek  we  over  took  all  the  differant  companies  of 
emigrants  except  Hitchcocks^"®  and  encamped  in  a  Jumbled  mass  of 
Stock  tents  people  &c  &c 

6  Turned  out  early  from  our  camp  on  Wagon  Hound  creek*  and 
had  Some  Steep  pitches  to  raise  before  we  got  clear  of  the  creek*  then 

106  Hitchcock  was  one  of  the  leaders  of  the  Stephens-Murphy  party,  bound  for 
California.  Bancroft  says  he  had  possibly  been  a  naember  of  the  Walker  party  in 

*In  the  MS.  a  line  is  drawn  through  the  words  Wagon  Hound  creek. 


some  fine  rolling  country  was  passed  with  several  brooks  of  clear 
water  several  miles  of  desent  brot  us  into  the  vally  of  wagon  hound 
creek  whare  we  encamped  for  the  night  haveing  made  1 5  miles  in  this 
vally  we  saw  Quantities  of  Buffaloe  but  few  of  them  were  taken  owing 
to  the  lateness  of  the  day  when  we  arived  &  the  number  of  hunters  out 
which  drove  them  from  one  another  which  is  envariably  the  case  when 
agreat  number  of  anxious  men  turn  out  (out)  to  hunt  after  any  discrip- 
tion  of  game  the  mountains  discribed  yesterday  are  of  a  light  grey 
granit  &  are  the  frst  seen  on  our  assent  from  the  vally  Below  Scotts  bluff 
as  before  mentioned 

7  Clear  as  usual  in  this  region  of  (of)  allmost  cloudless  Skies 
moved  out  of  our  dry  grassless  camp  crossed  clear  fine  little  Brook 
at  the  distance  of  5  miles  on  both  sides  of  which  the  utmost  confusion 
exists  vitrified  earth  clay  &  rock  of  several  kinds  in  banks  hills  Knobs 
mounds  piles  &  mountains  ly  &  stand  in  all  angles  from  horizontal  to 
perpendicular  but  mostly  in  an  angle  from  20  to  45  all  seem  to  have 
been  hove  up  from  the  N.  E.  for  that  is  the  Slanting  direction  &  the 
S.  W.  being  nearly  perpendicular — and  the  ranges  running  frorom  N.  W. 
to  S.E.  formed  of  grey  granit  red  Sandstone  blue  lime  stone  clay  red  as 
brick  and  some  black  looking  Substance  resembling  decomposed  Slate 
or  Something  blackned  by  fire  made  14  miles  &  encamped  near  a  fine 
spring      our  camp  once  again  largely  supplied  with  Buffaloe  beef 

8  The  same  as  yestarday  a  clear  Bright  sun  &  cloudless  atmos- 
phere on  the  road  again  passed  a  number  of  Beautifull  little  clear 
Brooks  cool  &  remarkable  sweet  comeing  out  of  the  grey  granite  moun- 
tain lying  only  a  few  miles  to  the  South  of  our  rout  &  in  many  places 
the  strata  rises  nearly  perpendicular  &  allway  at  (at)  least  40  degrees 
with  the  Horizon  Made  17  miles  and  encamped  on  a  fine  little  stream 
almost  in  sight  of  N  Fork  of  the  Platte  in  the  vally  of  which  Stream  we 
have  been  traveling  ever  since  leaving  Larremie  but  seldom  in  sight 
our  encampment  is  the  best  for  stock  we  have  yet  seen  since  passing  the 
Forks  and  a  number  of  Scaffolds  are  arected  well  covered  and  smoking 
with  fine  Buffalo  Beef  to  dry  for  the  road  as  well  as  the  Board  which  is 
finely  stored  for  supper  with  the  choisest  Kind 

9  the  same  Beautifull  clear  Sky  concluded  to  remain  in  our 
prsent  position  on  Boxwood  creek  which  is  thickly  set  with  that  kind  of 
Timber  well  Stored  with  current  and  choke  cherries  &  a  number  of  Large 
grissly  Bears  to  feed  on  them  as  is  plenly  seen  by  their  numerious 
pathes  through  the  brush  the  Bear  feeds  on  all  kinds  of  fruit  but  the 
red  willow  berry  which  is  extremely  Bitter  seems  to  be  their  favourite 
food  all  hands  busied  in  preparing  and  drying  the  finest  kind  of 
Buffaloe  Beef  as  we  are  fearfull  that  they  will  not  be  many  on  the  road 

DIARY,  AUGUST,  1844  87 

ahead  walked  up  to  the  mountain  about  4  miles  distant  found  the 
top  ledges  4  or  500  feet  high  composed  of  a  whitesh  grey  granite  then  a 
strata  of  rough  red  sandson  5  or  200  feet  thick  based  on  blue  &  red 
Lime  stone  intermixed  with  red  vitrified  clay  the  water  of  the  brook 
running  over  loose  rock  of  all  the  above  descriptions 

10  Moved  off  forom  our  encampment  on  Boxwood  &  crossed  over 
about  5  miles  to  the  river  crossed  Several  small  Brooks  and  dined  on 
deer  creek  made  15  miles  and  encamped  on  the  river  Same  hard 
granite  gravely  rounded  hills  the  mountains  keeping  close  on  our  left 
and  (and)  running  paralell  to  our  rout  along  the  river  the  weather  fine 
as  usual       the  uplands  dry  and  parched 

The  mountains  lying  to  our  left  are  not  verry  high  perhaps  not  more 
than  3  or  4000  feet  above  the  vally  of  the  river  but  they  are  extremely 
ruged  and  Steep  the(y)  rocks  standing  in  many  places  nearly  in  per- 
pendicular strata  the  range  is  narrow  an  uneven  vally  lying  beyond 
then  another  paralel  range  Beyond  which  is  an  elevated  table  land 
distitute  of  Timber  &  Tolerable  Smooth  Turfed 

11  Sunday      a  Beautifull  morning       Roled  on  up  the  river 
crossed  several  fine  Brook      considerable  timber  or  Junts  rather  of 
Cottonwood  the  Bottoms  covered  with  dry  fallen  Timber  which  in  this 
region  never  decays  but  wares  away  in  Slow  degrees  by  the  weather 
the  Buff  aloe  verry  fat  and  excelent  eating  and  still  found  in  great 
abundance      made  18  miles  and  encamped  on  the  river      grass  scarce 
and  nearly  dry  even  on  the  most  moist  Situations  &  we  begin  to  find  our 
delay  on  Kaw  river  was  a  great  detriment  to  our  traveling  here  bringing 
us  through  this  dry  region  in  warmest  and  dryest  part  of  the  Season 
our  Stock  begins  to  look  bad  and  loose  their  activity  and  yet  we  have 
not  arived  at  the  worst  part  of  our  long  tiresome  Journey      our  own 
subsistance  dose  not  look  so  precarious  as  the  forrage  for  our  stock  our 
horses  in  particular 

12  Moved  up  the  river  4  miles  to  the  place  whare  we  leave  the 
river  and  cross  over  the  red  Bute  mountain  and  encamped  a  few  miles 
below  the  lower  Kenyon  the  cliffs  on  this  Kenyon  are  for  more  than 
half  way  up  of  a  fine  deep  brick  red  appearantly  of  burned  Slate  and  a 
marly  clay  lime 

13  Made  an  early  start  and  raised  the  rounded  dry  hills  of  the 
Red  Bute  mountain  which  falls  off  to  moderate  hills  without  timber  to 
the  north  of  our  rout  but  rises  again  on  the  head  of  the  South  Branches 
of  the  Big  Horn  and  Toungue  and  Powder  rivers  this  range  I  could 
not  understand  was  Heretofore  named  or  laid  down  on  any  map  of  this 
country  the  tops  of  thise  hills  are  fine  sand  and  clay  lower  down  a 
rough  sand  stone  Based  on  a  whitish  coloured  Slate  which  with  a  little 


change  from  Black  to  red  makes  the  lowermost  Strata  or  bed  to  be  seen 
and  in  many  places  stands  edgeways  or  in  pependicular  form  made 
12  miles  of  crooked  woorming  Travel  and  encamped  in  a  small  valy  a 
dry  Brook  a  Brackish  [spring]  rising  near  (near)  it(s)  Buffaloe 
chips  wild  Sage  and  Prairie  thorn  forming  our  Stock  of  wood  4  miles 
to  the  South  resis  The  Red  Bute  which  give  name  to  the  awfull  Kenyon 
both  above  &  below  the  Bute  on  Standing  on  the  cliffs  near  the  edge 
of  the  Poicipice  you  see  the  river  both  above  &  below  on  two  bends  of 
the  river  which  is  much  narrower  at  top  than  at  the  water  the  continual 
waring  Below  haveing  fully  doubled  its  once  width  through  the  solid 
granite  &  its  perpendicular  depth  being  over  1000  feet  the  stream 
looking  not  larger  than  your  finger  seemed  to  be  at  an  angle  of  40  at 
least  and  clear  imder  your  feet. 

14  Left  our  encampment  early  and  again  took  to  the  rising  hills 
which  we  nearly  toped  in  about  2j4  hours  from  which  we  had  a  distinct 
view  of  Wind  river  mountain  standing  in  bold  raged  cliffs  directly  ahead 
and  about  a  N.W.  course  a  few  rods  to  the  left  of  the  road  breakes 
up  a  fine  oil  spring  from  in  under  a  rounded  Knoll  of  whiteish  Slate  & 
appears  to  be  much  frequented  by  the  Buffaloe  &  other  animals 
numerious  ledges  of  different  kinds  of  rock  all  standing  edgewise  and 
nearly  perpendicular  one  in  particular  of  white  Sand  Stone  which 
extended  to  the  utmost  reach  of  vision  in  a  narrow  Straight  line  nearly 
north  over  ridge  and  hollow  now  rising  then  sinking  from  3  to  20  feet 
in  hight  no  discription  of  mine  will  give  any  adaquate  idea  of  the 
Barren  dry  Sterility  of  the  dry  land  of  this  region  Made  20  miles  & 
encamped  without  grass  but  had  fine  water  and  plenty  of  good  dry 
wood  our  rout  to  day  was  verry  crooked  &  6  or  8  miles  might  be 
Saved  by  taking  a  more  Southern  route 

[Some  calculations  on  the  inside  of  the  back  cover  seem  to  indicate  that  dur- 
ing the  preceding  twenty-seven  days  the  average  rate  traveled  was  fourteen  miles 
per  day.] 

BOOK  3 

Aug  IS,  1844 

[Inside  front  cover  J 
Augt  18th  1844. 

Augt-  26. 
Sept  4  J.  Clyman 

J.  Clyman 

[Red  Buttes  to  the  Blue  Mountains,  August  15  to  September  jo] 

August  the  15^  1844 
Left  our  contracted  encampment  at  willow  Spring  near  the  top  of  the 
Red  Bute  mountain  &  in  ^  an  hour  reachd  the  top  of  the  ridge  had 
a  fair  view  of  the  east  end  of  the  wind  river  mountain  the  numerous 
rough  granite  peaks  on  Sweet  water  &  those  around  Indipindance 
rock  But  it  soon  became  So  smokey  that  our  fine  viws  ware  intirely 
obscured  the  ridges  vallys  hallows  &  all  (all)  the  whole  region  near 
our  rout  these  last  two  days  have  been  the  (the)  most  Sterile  Barren 
land  imaginable  haveing  but  little  vegetation  except  the  wild  sage  and 
that  not  more  than  Six  or  (or)  eight  inches  high  curled  down  &  level  & 
stiff  makeing  a  good  seat  Soil  granite  gravel  &  sand  intermingled 
with  rounded  granite  Boulders  some  of  considerable  size  Made  16 
miles  and  encamped  on  Sweet  water  }4  a  mile  below  the  rock  indipend- 

16  Moved  on  up  the  creek  saw  the  notable  rock  Independance 
with  the  names  of  its  numerious  visitors  most  of  which  are  nearly 
obliterated  by  the  weather  &  ravages  of  time  amongst  which  I  observed 
the  names  of  two  of  my  old  friends  the  notable  mountaneers  Tho^.  Fitz- 
patrick  &  W.  L.  Sublette  as  likewise  one  of  our  noblest  politicians 
Henry  Clay  coupled  in  division  with  that  of  Martin  Van  Buren  a 
few  miles  furthe[r]  up  the  creek  pases  through  the  South  point  of  a 
most  ruged  &  solid  looking  granite  rock  by  a  verry  narrow  pass  after 
passing  which  we  entered  a  valy  Surounded  by  low  ruged  mountains 
except  to  the  West  whare  a  defiel  Shews  itself  the  lower  vally  of  this 
creek  is  well  clothed  with  short  grass  the  upper  with  sand  &  sage  the 
mountains  with  short  scattering  pines  but  in  many  places  nothing  but 
the  bear  rock  in  large  steep  Surfaces  made  8  miles  &  encamped  for 
the  night  on  a  good  plat  of  grass 

17  Smokey  But  the  sun  rose  over  the  Eastern  mountains  in  its 
usual  majesty  Some  recent  Signs  of  a  war  party  of  Indians  ware 
discovred  yestarddy  which  caused  some  uneasiness  but  verry  little  more 
caution  roled  up  the  Stream  on  the  South  side  arang[e]  of  the 
most  ruged  bare  granite  rocks  lay  along  the  North  side  close  to  the 


water  &  a  range  of  Blue  mountains  to  the  S.  at  the  distance  of  6  or  8 
miles      the  sides  bear      the  tops  pretty  well  clothed  with  pine  Timber 

saw  some  fine  herds  of  Ibex  or  wild  sheep  some  of  which  ware  taken 
and  (&)  found  to  be  verry  fine  eating  saw  great  flocks  of  young  wild 
ducks  many  of  which  ware  unable  to  fly  not  having  their  wing  feathers 
stiff  enough 

This  region  seems  to  be  the  refuses  of  the  world  thrown  up  in  the 
utmost  confusion  rocks  without  strata  forming  mountains  others 
standing  in  perpendicular  strata      made  13  miles  &  encamped 


18  Left  our  encampment  near  the  granite  rocks  and  moved  up 
the  creek  &  passed  several  points  of  the  same  range  of  cliffs  untill  we 
entered  a  close  Kenyon  the  cliffs  nearly  approching  the  water  from 
either  side  giving  bearly  room  for  the  teams  to  pass  which  opened  out 
into  a  fine  wally  at  the  distance  of  a  fewe  miles  above  up  which  we 
passed  and  encamped  14  miles  from  our  last  camp  the  grass  had  been 
pastur^  verry  close  by  the  Buffalou  all  through  the  rout  up  this  creek 
and  we  found  them  in  greate  abundance  near  our  encampment  a 
slight  Shower  of  rain  fell  after  which  the  wind  blew  quite  cool  for  august 
which  in  fact  has  been  the  case  for  several  nights  allthough  the  days 
for  several  hours  near  noon  was  verry  warm 

19  Left  the  creek  immediately  after  starting  and  laid  our  course 
south  of  west  and  allmost  directly  from  the  creek  which  course  we 
traveled  most  of  the  day  over  a  barren  tract  of  country  nothing  escaping 
the  appetite  of  the  Buffaloe  except  the  wild  sage  which  is  left  for  the 
antelope  &  mountain  grouse  the  only  animals  known  to  feed  on  such 
bitter  herbage  the  Brarren  Sterelity  of  this  region  must  be  desolate 
in  the  extreme  in  the  winter  as  it  has  nothing  inviting  now  Made  18 
miles  and  struck  the  creek  again  and  encamped  without  scarcely 
aparticle  of  grass  the  earth  dry  and  completely  parched  to  dust  which 
moves  in  perfect  clouds  around  us  during  the  day  when  on  march  it  is 
a  little  remarkable  that  all  the  native  animals  get  so  verry  fat  in  dry 
parched  region  so  bare  of  vegetation 

20  crossed  over  a  narrow  ridge  and  struck  the  creek  again  above 
the  rocks  through  which  it  passes  made  7  miles  and  encamped  clos 
below  another  Kenyon  through  which  the  creek  passes  and  near  to 
whare  we  encamped  in  January  1824  at  which  time  we  under  J.  Smith 
and  T  Fitzpatrick  first  traversed  the  now  well  known  South  pass^^^  and 
camp*^  on  green  river  on  the  19^*^  of  march  11  days  of  which  time  we 
never  saw  a  drop  of  water  except  what  we  thawed  from  Snow      The 

DIARY,  AUGUST,  1844  91 

mountains  look  quite  familiar  allthough  I  have  not  seen  them  for  17 
year  and  it  appears  as  if  the  1 7  summers  last  past  had  not  in  the  least 
diminished  the  snow  that  then  cownd  their  lofty  heads  which  still  ware 
the  white  appearance  of  old  age 

21  It  Had  the  appearance  of  rain  last  night  and  a  few  drops  fell 
But  the  sun  arose  this  morning  with  its  usual  brightness  moved  up 
the  dry  parched  hills  crossed  a  number  of  ranges  of  perpendicular 
rocks  black  and  (&)  appearantly  vitrified  passed  numerous  small 
brooks  &  springs  verry  fine  and  cool  &  appearantly  clear  of  lime  or  any 
substance  whatver  being  nearly  as  pure  distiled  passed  several  fine 
small  groves  of  Aspin  the  first  seen  of  any  consequence  Made  14 
miles  and  campd  on  the  creek  again  that  we  had  left  this  morning  now 
reduced  to  a  small  Brook  &  damned  up  by  the  beaver  Likiwise  con- 
fined between  steep  rocky  Bluffs  the  strata  of  which  rises  in  perpen- 
dicular form  Mr,  Barnette  who  has  been  confined  5  or  6  days  with  a 
fever  has  the  appearance  of  being  quite  dangerous  and  has  been  delerious 
during  the  whole  of  the  night 

22  Left  our  thick  willow  camp  and  after  raising  the  bluffs  Had  a 
fine  undulating  road  across  the  ridges  to  another  Branch  of  Sweet 
water  the  wild  sage  the  only  vegitable  seen  on  the  ridges  Hardly 
exceeded  two  inches  in  hight  so  completely  are  these  hills  formed  of 
dry  gravel  and  deprived  of  Moisture  added  to  the  intense  coldness  of 
this  high  region  in  sight  of  the  eternal  snow  that  Scarce  a  week  passes 
without  frost  and  we  had  a  fine  one  this  morning  which  caused  us  to 
hover  close  to  our  willow  brush  fires  and  [those]  out  after  cattle  & 
Horses  complained  of  cold  toes  made  7  miles  &  camped  in  a  pretty 
faced  vally  covered  with  copses  of  willow  and  thin  short  grass  many 
wearing  our  coats  all  day  without  feeling  uncomfortably  warm 

2?>  Remained  in  camp  to  day  on  the  account  of  Mr.  Barneett  who 
we  did  not  expect  to  live  being  verry  low  with  a  Typhus  Fever 
several  teams  however  went  on  &  Mr  Gilhams  company  passed  our 
encampment  all  Buiseed  in  mending  washing  and  preparing  for  To- 
morow  poor  M''  Barnett^  prospects  bad  our  circumstances  not  per- 
mitting delay  &  he  not  being  able  to  travel 

To  our  right  and  but  a  short  distance  Isued  a  considerable  branch 
of  Popo  Azia  [Agie]  the  most  Southern  water  of  Wind  River  which 
Brakes  out  between  a  rough  pine  clad  range  of  mountains  and  the 
eternal  snow  capt.  range  which  rises  here  from  an  uneven  high  plain 
which  forms  the  dividing  ridge  Between  the  waters  running  into  the 
yallowstone  and  the  platte  all  portes  of  which  Shew  the  remains  of 
great  convulsions  at  some  remote  time 

24       A  dull  cloudy  morning       the  camp  made  early  preperations 


For  moveing  &  all  roled  out  except  ourselves  who  remain  to  take  care 
of  M''  Bamett  whose  prspects  for  living  seem  a  little  better  than  yestar- 
day  all  though  yet  quite  small  every  preperation  seemed  dull  & 
melancholly  &  many  bid  the  sick  man  their  last  farewell  look  a 
Spade  was  thrown  out  &  left  which  looked  rather  ominous  The 
ravens  came  croaking  around  us  and  the  Shaggey  wolf  was  seen  peep- 
ing from  the  hills  to  see  if  the  way  was  clear  to  contend  with  the  ravens 
for  the  Fragment  of  the  camp  Early  in  the  afternoon  Cap*  Shaw  and 
Morisons  company  hove  in  sight  and  the  hills  and  the  vally  became  the 
seene  of  life  and  animation  again  for  the  evening  they  camping  about 
y2  a  mile  below  us  Several  came  to  visit  us  M"".  Harris  staid 
though  the  night 

Sunday  the  25  Clear  and  Bright  no  change  for  the  better  in 
Mr  Bametts  Symtoms  rather  worse  allthough  medicine  seemed  to 
operate  well  Found  it  verry  Lonesome  to  be  clear  of  the  noise  and 
Bustle  of  a  large  camp  and  to  remain  Stationary  with  a  Sick  man  in 
one  of  the  most  prominent  Indian  passes  of  the  country  in  the  after- 
noon However  Perkins  and  Scott  came  up  with  the  rear  of  all  the 
Emigrants  on  the  rout  &  we  had  their  company  during  the  night  which 
intirely  relieved  the  lonsomeness  of  the  Place  and  many  of  the  Ladies 
seemed  emulous  to  see  which  should  be  the  most  active  in  giving  us 
advice  &  assistance  for  the  relief  of  our  appearantly  dying  friend  the 
Perkins  family  in  particular 

I  noticed  several  vegetables  now  in  full  Bloom  &  do  not  seem  to  be 
the  least  affected  by  the  cold  allthough  we  have  had  frost  &  Ice  for  4 
nights  in  succession 

26  Usually  fine  and  bright  Mr  Burnett  to  all  appearance  Still 
wareing  away  under  a  verry  Strong  nervous  excitement  never  being 
Scarcly  one  minuit  still  at  a  time  M"^  Scotts  company^^^  remain  here 
to  day  and  Several  of  the  Ladies  are  verry  kind  in  doing  all  they  can  tf> 
make  the  sick  man  comfortable  about  noon  M''  Bamette  commenced 
with  severe  Spasms  &  seem<^  to  be  in  the  gratest  agony  imaginable  con- 
tinually driving  his  teame  or  calling  on  some  friend  to  do  something  or 
other  all  those  called  being  absent  late  in  the  evening  howeveer  he 
became  at  spells  more  camlm  &  even  Stupid  &  about  10  oclock  he 
departed  this  life  verry  easy  without  a  struggle  or  a  groan  &  all  his 
troubles  ware  in  Silent  death  having  nothing  better  we  cut  a  bed  of 
green  willows  &  laid  him  out  on  the  cold  ground  &  all  of  us  seated  our- 

108  Probably  including  Captain  Levi  Scott's  family.  He  was  one  of  the  leaders 
of  the  Applegate  road  explorers  who  laid  out  the  first  trail  from  Oregon  through 
Northern  California  and  into  Nevada,  in  1846. 

DIARY,  AUGUST,  1844  93 

selves  around  our  camp  fire  &  listned  to  the  hair  beadth  escapes  of  Mr 
Harris  &  other  Mountaineers 

27  Early  we  ware  up  and  making  preperations  for  the  enterment 
of  the  deceased  when  after  Burying  him  in  the  most  decent  manner  our 
circumstances  would  admit  we  made  ready  for  leaveing  Sweet  water  on 
which  now  rests  the  Body  of  M"^  Barnette  the  first  white  man  that  ever 
rested  his  bones  on  that  stream  leaving  our  willow  encampment  we 
soon  rose  the  deviding  ridge  Between  the  waters  of  the  Atlantic  & 
Pacific  which  is  nothing  more  than  a  plasant  assent  for  about  23  miles 
&  decent  of  the  same  distance  to  afine  grassy  Spring  Brook  which  pours 
its  crystal  waters  through  green  River  into  the  gulf  of  California  rode 
25  miles  and  camp*^  on  little  sandy  likewise  a  tributary  of  green  River 

28  Made  an  Early  Start  &  in  a  few  hours  came  in  sight  of  a 
large  grassy  vally  through  which  runs  Big  Sandy  which  unites  with  the 
stream  we  encamped  on  last  night  a  few  miles  blow  &  continue  nearly  a 
South  course  untill  they  mingle  their  waters  with  Green  river  our 
general  course  a  little  West  of  South  yestarday  &  to  day  we  had  a 
number  of  fine  views  of  Several  of  the  pinicles  of  the  wind  river  moun- 
tains the  country  dry  &  dusty  cowred  with  wild  sage  &  Praerie  Thorn  & 
a  few  other  hardy  Stinted  vegetables  traveled  down  the  west  side  of 
Big  Sandy  Several  miles  from  the  Stream  as  it  runs  in  a  croked  deep 
Channel  Rode  25  miles  and  camp^  on  Big  Sandy  During  the  day 
had  one  or  2  views  of  the  utaw  mountains  Several  Snowy  point  being 
directly  South  and  bearing  Southwest 

29  In  about  2  Hours  ride  we  came  to  green  river  a  beautifull  clear 
crystal  Stream  about  one  hundred  yards  wide  &  nearly  Belly  deep  to 
our  Horses  running  East  of  S.  through  a  Sandy  parched  dry  country  but 
little  of  it  clothed  with  grass  some  groves  of  Shrubby  cotton  wood 
growing  on  its  banks  after  crossing  we  rode  down  the  vally  of  this 
stream  about  6  miles  East  of  South  then  South  over  the  Bluffs  1 2  miles 
to  Black  fork  which  Stream  likewise  runs  into  Seetskadee  [Green  River] 
about  20  miles  east  of  whare  our  trail  struck  it  all  the  high  ground 
dry  &  dusty  &  covered  with  the  Eternal  Sage  which  can  live  without 
rain  from  June  untill  October  on  a  clean  pure  granite  gravel  after 
coming  down  into  the  vally  of  Blacks  Fork  we  turned  Short  to  the  West 
up  the  same  rode  5  miles  making  about  30  miles  and  encamped  with 
our  former  mess  once  more 

30  Moved  up  Blacks  fork  and  in  an  hour  crossed  Hams  fork 
coming  in  from  the  N.W.  through  a  fine  grassy  vally  crossed  Blacks 
fork  &  made  a  cut  off  of  a  long  bend  &  struck  the  river  again  in  the 
afternoon  we  had  the  Singular  phenominon  of  Seeing  a  Shower  of  rain 
in  the  vally  &  after  the  light  cloud  passed  off  the  peaks  of  the  Eutaw 


mountain  ware  covered  white  with  a  fresh  fallen  snow  which  however 
ware  partially  covered  with  the  snows  of  former  winters  made  18 
miles  &  encamped  on  the  Stream  we  left  this  morning  numerous 
Butes  Mounds  &  ridges  occurring  all  through  this  vally  formed  to  all 
appearances  by  wash  of  water  consisting  of  Red  brown  white  &  green 
clay  formed  in  many  places  into  Soft  rock  but  still  washing  away  by  the 
water  at  ever[y]  freshett       Made  14  miles 

31  Moved  up  the  vally  of  Blacks  Fork  &  early  in  the  afternoon 
arived  at  Bridger  &  Vasqueses  trading  house  [Fort  Bridger]  a  tempory 
concern  calculated  for  the  trade  with  Shoshonees  and  Eutaws  which 
trade  is  not  verry  valuable  this  place  is  likewise  the  general  rendez- 
vous of  all  the  rocky  mountain  hunters  &  Trappers  that  once 
numerous  class  of  adventurers  are  now  reduced  to  less  than  thirty  men 
which  Started  out  under  the  command  of  M"'  Bredger  yestarday  on  an 
excursion  thrugh  the  mountains  of  Northern  &  central  Mexico  this 
small  Trading  post  is  also  within  the  limmits  of  Mexico  but  can  be  no 
great  distance  south  of  the  U.  S.tates  Boundary  line  this  Establis- 
ment  has  a  fine  grassy  vally  arround  it  but  of  no  greate  extent  we 
here  met  M""  Robedeau  [Antoine  Robidoux]  from  the  arkansas  with 
horses  and  mules  &  other  articles  porposely  to  catch  our  trade 

Sunday  th  P^  of  September  1844  Moved  out  north  across  the  hills 
from  Bridgers  Trading  House  found  the  road  rough  &  hilly  &  per- 
fectly bare  of  grass  crossed  Several  steep  &  deep  ravines  one  of 
which  had  some  pools  of  poor  Brackish  water  standing  in  it  in  the 
afternoon  passe"^  a  low  range  of  hills  covered  with  cedar  to  our  left  and 
encamped  on  a  creek  called  muddy  emtying  into  Hams  creek  our  rout 
through  this  Green  River  vally  has  been  verry  crooked  &  might  be 
easily  made  to  save  about  50  miles  by  keeping  more  westwardly  as  the 
rout  is  equally  level  &  the  only  object  of  this  zigzag  road  is  to  pass  the 
trading  hous  which  however  is  some  convenienc  as  we  ware  able  to  trade 
every  extra  article  we  had  for  mokisens  &  leather  clothing.  exchanged 
of  all  our  worn  out  mules  &  horses       20  miles 

2  Fine  &  dry  moved  westwardly  up  the  vally  of  mudy  creek 
which  is  entirely  bare  of  grass  made  1 2  miles  &  encamped  in  a  Loose 
Scattering  manner  grass  Scarce  &  dried  all  up  pased  Several  ranges 
of  volcanic  hills  rocks  standing  nearly  perpendicular  running  as  usual 
from  S.W.  to  N.E.  But  differant  from  any  I  had  before  noticed  the 
perpendicular  Bluffs  being  on  the  eastern  side  &  the  gradual  slope  on 
the  west  the  sides  of  many  of  the  ridges  are  covered  with  scatering 
cedars  but  most  of  them  are  bare  having  Scarcely  any  vegetation  on 
them  not  even  the  wild  Sage  which  seems  to  be  the  hardiest  vegitable  in 
this  cold  dry  region  &  I  can  now  see  severall  Bunches  Just  dropping  the 

DIARY,  SEPTEMBER,  1844  95 

Bloom  allthough  we  have  had  but  few  nightis  without  frost  since  we 
came  in  sight  of  the  snow  capt  mountains  game  antelopes  grouse  & 

3  I  let  my  Horses  loose  a  little  before  day  &  they  took  the  road 
ahead  &  I  did  not  come  up  with  them  for  about  4  miles  whare  they 
stoped  to  graze  on  a  small  valy  of  fine  grass  whare  we  all  Should  have 
encamp*^  last  night  all  Subordination  and  controle  haveing  been 
broken  up  for  several  days  thinking  ourselves  out  of  danger  at  least 
danger  of  life  But  all  Savages  will  Steal  &  so  will  the  Shoshonees  a 
partly  of  which  are  now  passing  while  I  am  writeing  Made  5  miles  & 
encamped  at  a  fine  Sping  of  water  the  head  of  the  North  branch  of 
Muddy  on  a  fine  platte  of  grass  the  rout  to  cross  the  Second  mountain 
or  devideing  ridge  between  Green  river  &  Bear  river  Several  of  us 
are  preparing  to  go  through  on  Horses  &  are  Buisily  preparing  for  our 
departure  tomorrow  nothing  for  fire  but  Sage 

4  Left  our  encampment  Early  4  of  us  on  packhorses  for  fort 
Hall  &  In  a  few  hours  we  arived  at  the  top  of  the  ridge  or  mountain 
deviding  the  waters  of  green  river  and  Bear  riiver  which  last  Emties  in 
to  the  Create  Salt  Lake  from  the  top  of  the  ridge  we  had  a  fine  view 
of  Green  River  vally  which  at  this  season  of  the  year  Looks  Bald  rough 
&  desolate  the  Bear  River  vally  ahead  not  quite  so  Bad  but  bear  &  Bad 
Enough  every  thing  looking  dry  and  parched  the  road  up  the  East 
side  follows  a  ravine  whose  sides  are  finely  clothed  in  many  places  with 
aspin  groves  and  the  assent  not  verry  Steep  or  difficult  several  fine 
Springs  breaking  out  Just  below  the  assent  the  asent  westward  is 
steep  in  several  places  &  some  sideling  ground  that  requires  some  care  & 
a  good  spring  Breaks  out  on  Left  of  the  road  made  30  melis  & 
encamped  on  Bear  river 

5  packed  up  &  moved  North  down  Bear  River  vally  a  brad  fine 
well  grssed  vally  with  a  steep  range  of  volcanick  mountains  on  each  side 
but  these  ranges  are  not  so  regular  as  those  noticied  Hertofore  but  the 
rocks  &  earth  Shew  more  the  marks  of  eternal  heat  about  noon  we 
passed  Smiths  river  running  into  Bear  River  the  former  a  rapid  Stream 
about  20  yards  wide  ruiming  rapidly  over  a  round  gravelly  bed  clear  as 
crystal  &  cool  as  spring  water  made  24  miles  &  encamped  on  the 
North  bend  or  as  the  hunters  say  whare  Bear  River  comes  around  the 
point  of  the  mountain  this  vally  is  the  early  Rendevous  of  the  moun- 
tain Trappers  &  hunters  But  in  the  last  7  or  8  years  the  Buffaloe  have 
entirely  left  this  country  &  are  now  seldom  seen  west  of  Sweet  water 

20  miles  Travled 

6  Started  Early  on  the  road  following  the  bends  of  the  River 
which  was  here  during  the  forenoon  verry  crooked  running  at  allmost 


all  points  of  the  compass  early  in  the  afternoon  the  road  Steered  out 
from  the  river  &  crossed  over  a  steep  ruged  mountain  which  howevir  is 
not  wide  the  decente  being  very  steep  &  about  a  mile  in  length  from 
the  top  of  this  mountain  we  had  a  view  of  the  N.  end  of  sweet  Lake 
[Bear  Lake]  which  lies  in  a  vally  South  of  the  river  the  river  pasing 
through  this  mountain  opens  out  into  a  much  larger  vally  below  the 
mountains  bordering  this  vally  have  the  same  vitrified  volcanick 
appearance  as  yestarday  If  it  was  not  for  the  intire  want  of  Timber 
this  vally  in  many  places  might  bear  cultivation  to  some  extent  made 
2  7  miles  &  encamped  on  a  cool  mountain  Brook  destitute  of  Timber 

7  Packed  up  before  Sunrise  and  made  off  down  the  rever  a  N.W. 
course  through  a  fine  level  vally  for  Several  hours  the  mountains  keep- 
ing thier  usual  appearance  about  noon  we  again  had  to  cross  over  a 
mountain  not  verry  high  or  ruged  We  did  not  Strike  the  river  during 
the  day  but  crossed  several  Brooks  of  good  water  &  encamped  at  the 
Soda  Springs  a  company  of  hunters  from  Fort  hall  had  Just  arived  & 
Likewise  a  few  persons  (to  hunt  and  make  dried  meat)  For  California 

These  Springs  are  a  greate  natural  curiosity  the  immediate 
vicinity  of  Springs  are  covered  with  Shrubby  Cedars  and  pine  timber  & 
near  the  river  a  Shelly  rock  makes  its  appearance  a  little  further  out 
a  fine  white  clay  which  appeared  to  have  been  blown  up  with  a  Sub- 
strata of  rock  which  lies  immediately  beneath  a  thin  Layer  of  caly 
[clay]  this  appears  in  dry  times  to  form  Quantities  of  the  Salts  of 
Soda  then  it  becomes  Quickly  moistened  and  produces  a  Quanty  of  gass 
which  is  confined  below  &  Bursts  up  the  rock  &  earth  to  give  it  vent, 
the  Strongest  Spring  is  about  ^  a  mile  North  from  the  river  which  is 
so  highly  charged  that  it  almost  takes  your  Breath  to  drink  acup  of  it 
Quick  from  the  Spring  But  the  most  Singular  one  is  below  near  the 
river  Spouting  as  much  as  6  feet  high  &  a  heavy  collumn  I  had  not 
more  than  one  hour  to  make  my  examinations  I  regrett  much  that  I 
was  so  hurried  Several  Large  Spings  of  fresh  water  Break  out  in  the 
viceinity  of  these  &  one  hot  Spring  the  rocks  Strewed  over  the  Lower 
plain  has  once  evidently  been  in  a  State  of  fusion  &  resemble  the  Slag 
thrown  out  of  Lead  furnaces  I  mean  the  rock  Strewed  over  the  lower 
part  of  the  vally 


8  After  taking  several  hearty  drinks  of  Soda  water  we  left  the 
Soda  Springs  went  down  the  vally  of  the  River  about  three  miles 
when  the  river  &  us  took  different  directions  we  turning  Short  to  the  N. 
&  the  River  to  the  S  a  fine  looking  open  vally  Shewed  itself  before  us 
but  we  ware  Sadly  disapointed  for  our  appearant  Smoothe  road  was 
rough  &  rocky  all  covered  with  Cynders  of  the  hardest  kind  and  broken 

DIARY,  SEPTEMBER,  1844  97 

into  chasms  &  deep  holes  in  all  directions  &  the  forenoon  was  wholy  the 
worst  road  we  have  seen  the  afternoon  proved  to  be  better  Travel- 
ing made  17  miles  &  encamped  on  Portnuff  a  Stream  haveing  Some 
curoisity  about  its  heading  in  (in)  the  mountain  deviding  Bear  &  Snake 
Rivirs  and  taking  a  Southern  course  into  the  vally  of  Bear  River  it 
turns  short  into  the  mont[ain] 

9  Made  an  Early  Start  on  way  up  Portnuff  &  at  noon  Stop  to 
graze  on  the  top  of  the  mountaines  deviding  the  rivers  we  found  this 
mountain  pass  verry  cold  &  windy  leaveing  our  Nooning  place  we 
wound  around  from  Knob  to  ravine  a  few  hours  and  began  [to]  desend 
the  ravines  of  Ross^-  Creek  toward  Snake  River  Saw  Some  good  Soil 
on  these  mountains  but  it  is  so  dry  &  cold  that  it  is  useless  made  25 
miles  and  camp^-  The  Prairies  haveing  been  burnt  recently  our  horses 
fared  rather  poor  the  ranges  of  these  hills  or  mountains  are  not  so 
regular  as  some  others  we  have  passed  But  are  burned  blacker  and 
harder  than  any  yet  seen  &  are  thrown  up  in  a  more  confused  manner 
Saw  no  kind  of  game  Save  a  few  covy^  of  mountain  grouse 

I  fear  the  whole  country  West  and  South  of  us  will  be  burned  over 
as  it  keeps  verry  Smokey 

10  Moved  on  down  the  creek  N.W.  &  Soon  came  in  sight  of  the 
broad  extensive  vally  of  Snake  river  which  for  Several  miles  was  entirely 
covered  with  wild  Sage  &  deep  blackish  Sand  after  a  fatiguing  [ride] 
we  at  length  reach^  the  Low  vally  &  found  plenty  of  grass  &  good  water 
whare  we  unpacked  to  graze  Made  16  miles  &  encamped  on  Snake 
River  about  2  miles  above  Fort  Hall  as  we  understood  the  grass  was 
poor  Further  down  this  vally  is  wide  &  the  Northern  Highlands  are 
invisible  perhaps  on  account  of  the  Smoke  which  lies  thick  in  this 
vally  the  land  appears  to  be  poor  &  cold  with  great  Quantities  of 
Springs  &  Brooks  in  all  Directions  with  the  finest  Kind  of  Trout  but 
they  ware  Difficult  to  be  Taken  I  did  not  go  down  to  visit  the  Fort 
as  I  had  no  Letters  for  that  place  a  good  stock  of  cattle  is  Kept  at 
the  fort  &  a  Large  Quantity  of  Horses 

11  one  Yi  hour  bro'  us  oposite  to  the  white  washed  mud  walled 
Battlements  of  Fort  Hall  and  as  I  had  no  Buisiness  to  transact  I  did 
not  go  inside  But  the  outward  appearance  was  pretty  fair  for  a  com- 
fortable place  for  all  that  the  present  trade  admits  of  Flour  plenty  at 
$20  per  cwt.  as  nothing  was  purchased  I  cannot  give  any  other  prices 
but  I  presume  they  are  as  cheap  as  any  of  her  Sister  establishment  in 
this  region  about  noon  crossed  Portnuff  here  a  Swift  Stream  60  yards 
wide  &  Belly  deep  to  our  horses  haveing  plenty  of  T[r]out  in  it 
Made  18  miles  &  encamped  on  the  river  about  half  of  a  mile  above  the 
first  falls      during  the  whole  of  the  afternoon  we  ware  passing  large 


bottoms  of  grass  which  would  Support  a  considerable  number  of  cattle 
&  other  Stock  but  no  land  fit  for  cultivation  the  uplands  are  covered 
with  wild  Sage 

12  about  Suruise  we  ware  again  on  the  trail  and  passed  the  falls 
whose  musick  luled  us  to  sleep  last  night  these  falls  have  but  little 
perpendicular  pitch  but  fall  about  16  or  18  feet  in  a  verry  short 
distance  the  water  comeing  rapidly  down  a  raged  rock  is  torn  all 
into  white  foam  Several  rapids  occured  this  forenoon  and  the  whole 
country  appears  to  have  been  once  in  a  complete  fusion  of  Liquid  mat- 
ter the  rocks  are  all  of  a  dark  Borown  &  Black  vitrified  colour  & 
some  resembling  Black  glass  in  every  particular  a  fiw  Scattering 
cedars  appear  along  the  Bluffs  which  only  help  to  give  the  country 
more  of  a  melencholly  appearance  the  Eternal  Sage  plains  appear  as 
extensive  as  formerly  Cossed  one  singular  creek  which  came  tumbling 
down  rapidly  over  a  continual  Succession  of  diposit  damns  made  from 
the  water       made  27  miles 

13  last  night  contrary  to  our  expectations  we  came  to  a  brook 
with  a  broad  vally  of  fine  grass  this  brook  is  called  cassia  &  is  the 
place  whare  M"'-  Hitchcock^*^^  left  our  rout  &  went  South  with  13  wagons 
in  company  for  callifornia  this  days  Travel  is  the  most  Barren  Sterril 
region  we  have  yet  passed  nothing  to  disturb  the  monotony  of  the 
Eternal  Sage  plain  which  is  covered  with  broken  cynders  much  resem- 
bling Junks  of  pot  mettal  &  Now  &  then  a  cliff  of  Black  burned  rock 
which  looks  like  Distruction  brooding  over  dispair  found  a  filthy 
pond  of  water  at  noon  made  28  miles  &  encamped  on  the  river  which 
we  left  yestarday  &  again  had  fair  grazeing  No  animal  Seen  no  fowl 
Save  a  few  mountain  grouse  which  can  live  in  any  region  whare  vegita- 
tion  can  grow      our  couse  down  this  river  so  far  has  been  S.W. 

14  Left  our  camp  on  the  river  &  Steered  S.  of  W.  across  a  Barren 
Sage  plain  corssed  one  brook  of  water  &  Saw  2  Antelope  the  only 
animals  seen  in  some  days  The  earth  is  the  driest  I  ever  saw  it  &  the 
dust  rises  in  perfect  clouds  every  particle  of  moistness  &  adhsion  is 
obliterated  &  lost  &  currents  of  dust  is  frequently  seen  rolling  down  the 
path  &  Spreading  like  hot  embers  that  have  been  well  Stirred  came  to 
the  River  to  noon  &  grze  the  River  running  through  cliffs  of  Black 
volcanic  Rocks  which  grew  Steeper  &  higher  as  we  decended  down  the 
River  at  length  we  left  the  Bluffs  of  the  River  being  1000  or  more 
feet  of  Perpendicular  Rock  standing  from  the  plain  to  the  water  &  the 
river  pressed  to  20  or  30  feet  in  width  after  20  miles  of  fatiugueing 
ride  we  encamp*^  haveing  made  30  miles  at  fair  grass  &  water 


15  Left  our  camp  on  the  brook  &  moved  off  west  over  a  Sage 
106  Cf.  page  333. 

DIARY,  SEPTEMBER,  1844  99 

plaine  as  usual  Kept  down  the  course  of  the  creek  we  encampd.  on 
last  night  soon  saw  that  it  fell  in  to  a  Kenyon  of  Steep  Black 
Rocks  after  following  8  or  10  miles  we  crosseed..over  the  Kenyon  at 
a  favourable  point  &  Struck  for  the  River  over  the  usual  Kind  of  Sage 
plane  &  late  in  the  afternoon  we  desended  the  main  Kenyon  on  Snake 
River  The  Black  battlement  cliffs  of  this  river  remind  one  of  the 
Fragments  of  a  world  distroyed  or  at  least  distroyed  for  all  human  pur- 
poses on  the  river  we  found  a  Small  fishing  party  of  Ponack^ 
[Bannocks]  who  had  plenty  of  Small  fish  of  the  Sucker  mouthed 
Kind  Several  Tremendious  Springs  come  Pouring  out  of  the  rocks 
oposite  Made  20  miles  &  encamped  on  the  River  confined  in  Between 
high  &  impassible  rocks 

16  Pased  down  the  Kenyon  to  the  mouth  of  a  Small  river  &  over 
the  ridge  to  the  little  or  upper  Salmon  Falls  whare  we  found  a  number 
of  Indians  encamped  who  offered  us  plenty  of  dried  Salmon  cheap  & 
almost  for  any  thing  we  offered  them  these  falls  are  Surrounded  with 
high  inaccessable  Clay  &  rock  Bluffs  the  vally  norrow  &  Broken  up 
with  ravines  Sandy  without  vegitation  except  Sage  &  some  of  the  Same 
Kind  of  useless  hardy  plants  Made  25  miles  over  Sage  plains  deep 
ravines  clay  Bluffs  &c  &c  it  being  the  most  uneven  roade  we  have  yet 
had  for  so  greate  a  distance  &  the  most  Barren  county  of  grass  Likewise 
as  well  as  an  intire  want  of  water  except  in  the  River  [which]  runs  in 
such  a  precepice  that  only  a  few  places  can  [be]  desended  even  on  foot 
&  then  to  return  to  the  summt  is  J^  a  days  hard  labour 

17  Left  our  position  &  went  down  the  River  whare  it  was  with 
difficulty  that  our  pack  horses  could  Travel  on  account  of  the  steepness 
of  the  way  at  length  about  10  A.M.  we  came  to  the  ford  or  upper 
crossing  of  the  river  &  saw  a  few  Teams  on  the  opposite  side  that  had 
left  Fort  Hall  6  days  before  us.  Soil  since  we  left  portnuff  Slaked  & 
unslaked  lime  volcanic  rocks  &  fine  &  coarse  sand  Sometimes  simple  & 
pure  &  other  times  mixed  in  various  proportions  vegitation  Sage 
prarie  Thorn  &  Liquorice  plant  all  Shrubby  but  thick  set  with  Scarcely 
any  grass  on  the  uplands  Some  lowlands  are  Sometimes  well  set  withe 
Short  grass  made  24  miles  &  encampjed  on  a  Small  Brook  with  Several 
Wagons  &  found  Some  Ney  Percee  Indians  with  them  &  a  few  Snakes 
Some  difficulty  was  likely  to  grow  out  of  a  Stolen  horse.  the  [matter] 
was  easily  settled 

18  After  crossing  the  River  yestarday  we  Steered  north  Several 
miles  We  raised  a  high  bluff  &  crossed  an  uneven  sage  plane  on  a 
western  direction  &  at  Starting  we  Steered  N.W.  to  the  point  of  a  low 
Mountain  intirely  destitute  of  Timber  But  Plenty  of  Sage  &  the  ground 
Strewn  thick  with  Cynders  &  other  volcanic  Rock  verry  rough  &  Sharp 


to  travel  over  passed  a  verry  hot  Spring  &  grazed  at  a  muddy  Brook 
overgrown  with  canes 

The  afternoon  about  10  miles  was  the  most  Rocky  rough  road  we 
have  yet  seen  made  25  miles  &  encamp^  on  a  Small  Brook  running 
through  a  deep  Kenyon  the  mountains  again  made  their  appearanc 
on  the  South  Side  of  Snake  River  which  had  disappered  for  Some  days 
past       the  Rocky  cliffs  to  our  North  of  us  appear  verry  dry  &  Rugged 

19  A  few  hours  from  our  last  nights  encampment  Brot  us  to  an 
entire  chang  of  Surface  &  we  gladly  exchang*^  the  rough  volcanick  rocks 
for  good  hard  gravel  road  but  Quite  uneven  and  the  Burnt  earth  &  rock 
entirely  disapeared  &  was  succeeded  by  the  rough  grey  granite  Standing 
like  Stumps  on  a  fallow  or  more  like  a  monumental  church  yard  this 
singular  appearance  lasted  in  groups  for  several  hours  &  we  saw  but 
little  sage  during  the  day  Made  30  miles  &  encamped  at  the  first 
possible  chance  we  found  to  desend  to  the  River  Gross  Boise  or  Big- 
wood  which  here  comes  rushing  out  of  the  most  uneven  Ruged  Mountain 
I  had  yet  seen  &  passes  rapidly  down  through  a  Steep  Kenyon  which 
cannot  [be]  assended  or  desended  even  on  foot  except  in  a  few  places 
this  is  a  rapid  Stream  about  40  yards  wide  &  is  fine  for  Salmon 

20  Set  out  down  the  river  west  the  mountains  to  our  right  and 
the  perpendicular  rock  Bank  to  the  left  both  receding  &  deminishing 

a  fine  wide  vally  opened  to  our  view  &  we  pased  down  through  the  dust 
which  was  almost  past  endureance  but  not  much  wose  than  it  had  been 
for  Several  day  past  This  stream  has  more  Timber  &  Brush  than 
most  of  the  streams  of  this  [region]  allthough  this  vally  is  wide  yet  it 
has  scarcely  any  grass  &  the  land  is  as  dry  as  ashes  &  would  not  produce 
any  Known  grains  or  vegitables  made  20  miles  &  encamped  on  the 
river  which  is  as  clear  &  fine  as  a  mountain  Torrent  which  it  is  of  the 
finest  Kind  ourselves  &  animals  are  completey  tired  out  with  dust  & 
burned  Prairies  which  has  generally  been  the  case  since  we  left  the 
devide  between  Bar  River  and  Snake  River  Camp"^  with  2  Teams  that 
ware  ahead 

Made  28  miles 

21  Left  our  camp  &  Took  to  the  dust  again  in  a  few  miles  we 
passd  9  wagons  in  camp  about  4  miles  further  passed  14  or  15  more 
all  making  a  move  for  the  road  crossed  over  the  river  to  the  north 
Side  &  made  our  way  down  a  dry  dusty  plane  untill  noon  this  river 
so  far  has  but  little  grass  &  what  is  is  dry  or  Burne^  close  to  the 
ground  to  day  we  are  almost  out  of  Sight  of  Mountains  only  the  tops 
of  a  few  being  visable  The  country  we  have  passed  over  will  be  dis- 
tressing to  the  teams  in  the  rear  as  it  is  already  bare 

Afternoon      again  Bore  down  the  vally      found  it  verry  dry  & 

DIARY,  SEPTEMBER,  1844  lol 

dusty  But  better  grassed      course  North  of  West      a  little  Before  Sun- 
down came  in  sight  of  Fort  Boisie  &  encamped  for  the  night       a  beauti- 
full  clear  evening  &  the  sun  went  tranquilly  down  behind  the  Blue 
mountans  without  a  cloud  to  be  seen 

22  Left  our  camp  2  miles  above  Fort  Boise  &  passed  the  mud 
walld  Fort  of  Boise  &  the  clerk  was  Kind  enough  to  make  us  out  a 
Sketch  of  the  rout  to  walla  walla  crossed  Snake  River  a  Short  dist- 
ance below  the  Fort  found  the  ford  good  &  Smoothe  but  rather  deep 
for  wagons  unpacked  on  the  opposite  Side  Several  Families  of 
Ponacks  &  Sauptins  [Nez  Perces]  ware  encamped  at  the  Fort  it 
being  Sunday  the  sauptins  refused  to  trade  with  our  men  on  account  of 
the  Sabbath  Packed  oup  &  put  N.  of  W.  Snake  River  running 
N.  The  Trail  carried  us  over  another  Sage  plain  14  miles  to  Malure 
River  a  dirty  deep  Stream  running  to  the  N.E.  with  a  fine  large  dry 
vally  covered  in  strong  coarse  grass  &  small  willows  a  hot  spring  com- 
ming  out  on  E.  Shore  under  a  high  cliff  of  volcanic  rocks 

Made  28  miles 

23  Left  our  camp  on  Malure  &  Struck  out  N.W.  up  a  vally  the 
eastern  branch  of  which  we  assended  to  the  head  &  decended  another 
dry  ravine  beyond  the  ridge  the  entire  country  covered  with  sage 
which  from  some  cause  or  other  is  nearly  all  dead  passed  the  Birch 
Spring  and  encamped  on  Snake  River  which  here  comes  out  of  a  rough 
looking  mountain  to  the  east  &  makeing  a  Short  curve  goes  off  into  the 
mountains  again  to  the  North  our  camp  is  verry  poor  for  grass  which 
has  been  the  case  for  Several  days  &  no  appearance  for  the  better 
many  of  our  horses  are  nearly  exhausted  &  several  afoot  this  evening 
we  raised  our  bread  with  saleratas  picked  up  a  few  miles  east  of  inde- 
pendenc  rock  on  sweet  water 

24  Clear  as  usual  for  it  has  not  rained  Since  we  left  Fort  Larri- 
mie  passed  a  ridge  &  soon  Struck  by  what  we  Supposed  to  be  Burnt 
River  Quite  a  small  criek  Bound  in  by  steep  high  Lime  rock  Mountains 
almost  impasible  for  our  horses  yet  the  wagons  have  gone  this  rout 
these  mountains  as  well  as  those  passed  yestarday  shew  all  the  visible 
effects  of  fire  Som  red  some  yellow  Brown  white  &  green  mostly  of 
decomposed  rock  &  remarkable  fine  clay  all  dry  &  dusty  even  to  the 
touch  Made  17  miles  through  the  worst  mountains  and  over  the 
worst  road  we  have  yet  seen  the  sides  of  these  mountains  are  nearly 
pependicular  &  composed  of  granite  &  rough  Slate  rock  without  any 
timber  or  any  other  kind  of  vegitation  except  Short  grass  and  in  many 
places  entirely  bare 

25  Left  our  camp  in  the  slate  mountains  &  after  making  two  or 


three  curves  in  the  hills  we  came  out  on  an  open  country  comparatively 
&  Struck  Burnt  river  again  in  a  vally  north  of  which  stands  a  singular 
conicle  Knobb  crown**  with  several  pinicles  of  rocks  resembling  horns 
no  game  of  any  kind  seen  not  even  the  appearance  of  a  rabbit  which  are 
so  plenty  on  snake  River  Made  18  miles  &  encamp**  at  a  Spring 
amongst  rounded  Knobs  well  clothed  in  Short  grass  as  all  the  country 
in  sight  has  been  all  the  afternoon  there  seems  to  be  an  entire  change 
of  Soil  from  any  we  have  passed  over  Lately  all  the  streams  are  like- 
wise (are)  slightly  skirted  to  day  with  willows  alders  &  a  Species  of 
Birch  &  other  Shrubery  but  no  valluable  timber  has  been  seen  since  we 
passed  the  Black  Hills 

26  Left  our  camp  at  the  spring  &  took  the  trail  bearing  N.  up 
though  the  hills  arived  at  the  top  of  the  ridge  Saw  to  our  left 
mountains  clothed  with  pine  or  othe[r]  evergreen  timber  a  few  hours 
brought  us  to  another  detested  sage  plain  that  vegitable  being  Scarce 
for  the  last  2  days  Nooned  at  what  is  called  the  lone  Tree  in  the 
middle  of  a  vally  &  a  fine  one  it  has  been  of  the  pine  Spicies  now  cut 
down  &  all  the  branches  used  for  fuel  the  day  verry  Smoky  &  I  Begin 
to  daubt  M"".  Espy^  theory  of  produceeing  rain  by  any  phisical  means 
as  the  whole  country  has  been  on  fire  for  a  month  past  &  no  rain  yet  a 
range  of  mountains  lying  close  to  our  left  seem  to  be  all  enveloped  in 
Smoke  Made  25  miles  &  encamped  on  Powder  River  which  runs 
(when  there  is  Plenty  of  water)  through  a  fair  vally  of  grass  the 
hills  Likewise  are  generally  well  covered  with  the  Same,  our  selves  & 
animals  are  becomeing  tired  of  travel 

27^**  Came  to  our  camp  last  night  M''  [William  C]  Dement  and 
4  Indians  going  to  meet  the  wagons  their  object  I  did  not  assertain 
but  some  (some)  speculation  no  doubt  Passed  through  a  beautifull 
vally  this  fore  noon  well  grassed  but  to  dry  for  cultivation  a  Timbred 
mountain  close  to  our  left  the  same  seen  range  yestarday  morning  As 
we  caught  our  horses  for  our  aftenoons  travel  Some  Indian  as  is  their 
habit  when  they  discover  Strangers  in  their  country  set  fire  to  the  grass 
about  a  half  mile  ahiad  of  us  our  rout  being  N,  &  a  strong  south  wind 
blowing  the  fire  kept  ahead  of  us  though  the  hills  about  6  or  8  miles  and 
when  we  overtook  the  fire  we  had  some  difficulty  in  passing  it  but  all 
got  through  nearly  suffocated  with  smoke  &  dust  &  entered  the  grand 
Round  vally  the  whole  mountains  which  surround  this  vally  com- 
pletely enveloped  in  fire  and  Smoke  neare  Sundown  we  discovered  a 
man  rideing  rapidly  toward  us  which  proved  Mr  Watters  [James 
Waters]  from  Willamitt  waiting  for  his  family  which  he  expects  to  come 
in  this  seasons  imigraton  made  26  miles  and  encamped  close  under 
the  Bleue  Mountains  in  company  with  Mr,  Watters  &  Mr  [Rice?] 

DIARY,  SEPTEMBER,  1844  lo3 

28  Concluded  to  ly  still  to  day  and  rest  ourselves  and  horses 
before  taking  the  Blue  Mountains  which  we  are  informed  will  be  two 
days  without  grass  this  is  a  well  watered  well  grassed  vally  but  the 
thick  smoke  preventes  me  from  seeing  the  probatile  Size  or  extent  I 
think  however  it  is  not  large  Remained  in  camp  to  day  which  was 
Quite  warm  although  we  had  a  white  frost  last  night  as  we  have  had  for 
several  nights  past.  Encamped  in  this  vally  are  several  hudred 
Indians  of  the  Skyuse  nation  now  amalgamated  with  Shehaptin  or  Pierce 
nose  nation  30  or  40  of  these  people  visited  us  this  afternoon  &  from 
whoom  we  traded  a  little  cammerce  thy  bringing  with  them  some  peas  & 
Squashes  of  their  own  raising  they  seemed  to  be  anxious  to  see  our 
wagons  &  cattle  they  being  anxious  to  trade  horses  (for)  of  which  they 
have  great  Quantities  for  cattle  &  appear  to  be  rapidly  advancing  in 
civilization  this  vally  is  also  verry  favourable  to  the  groth  of  the 
(root)  Cammerce  root  a  root  much  resembling  &  onion  in  appearance 
but  of  a  Sweet  rich  tast  when  roasted  after  the  manner  of  the  Indians 
the  smok  appeared  to  encrease 

29  Sunday  Left  our  camp  in  the  grand  Round  vally  and  took 
up  the  Blue  Mountains  which  are  steep  &  rough  but  not  so  bad  as  I  had 
anticipated  from  Previous  information  came  to  the  grand  round  creek 
in  about  10  miles  the  mountain  so  far  is  mostly  Prairie  &  fairly 
covered  with  g[r]ass  some  parts  However  espicially  the  ravines  & 
vallies  are  covered  with  pine  &  spruce  timber  the  rocks  all  shew  the 
effects  of  internal  fires  Left  our  nooning  &  proceeded  on  N.  West- 
ward Pased  some  remarkable  wild  &  lonesome  groves  of  pine  &  firr 
that  had  a  dark  appeearanc  &  the  more  so  on  account  of  the  thick  smoke 
that  enveloped  the  mountain  in  such  clouds  as  to  nearly  hide  the  sun  at 
midday  continued  untill  dusk  along  bare  rocky  rough  Sides  of  the 
mountain  extremly  bad  for  wagons  &  encamped  with  out  water  there 
being  but  little  water  in  these  dry  vitrified  ridges  made  26  miles 
saw  but  little  sign  of  any  wile  animals  Except  Pheasants  which  are 
plenty  in  some  parts  of  this  range  &  live  upon  the  berries  of  winter 
green  which  grows  in  Quantities  in  many  places  saw  likewise  a  specees 
of  Laurel  or  Ivy  on  the  Ridgis 

30  Saddled  up  at  day  light  and  proceded  on  our  way  found  the 
trail  tolerable  for  hosses  in  about  8  miles  came  to  some  pools  of 
Standing  water  whare  we  took  Breakfast  these  mountains  are  parti- 
ally covered  with  Several  Kinds  of  evergreen  timber  the  South  sides 
of  the  ridgis  are  bare  or  thinly  sit  with  grass  all  the  rocks  &  they  are 
plenty  shew  the  effects  of  fire  at  some  remote  period  the  caly  [clay] 
is  of  the  same  kind  as  that  found  on  the  plains  verry  fine  and  Soluble  in 
water  but  of  a  yellow  colour  Some  a  verry  deep  yellow  with  all  Shades 


down  to  a  pale  grate  Quantities  of  coarse  pummice  stone  laying 
strewed  over  the  ground  particularly  near  the  western  desent  of  the 
mountain  the  western  desent  of  the  Mountain  is  much  more  easy  & 
grduel  than  the  easterm  so  far  I  have  seen  but  little  land  that  would 
be  called  fit  for  cultivation  in  any  of  the  Western  States  allthough  there 
are  a  fiw  Spots  that  would  bare  cultivation  Made  25  miles  &  en- 
camped on  a  Small  brook  or  rather  Spring  to  the  right  of  the  trail  & 
close  to  the  foot  of  the  mountain 

[Inside  back  cover} 

Madison  Gilmore  tell  these 

Joel  Walker  Gentlemen 

Peter  H.  Burnett  that  Gnel  [General] 

Anarson    [Anderson]  Smith      Gilham  is  on  the  road 

James  Watters^oa  and  scarce  of  Provisional*^ 

109  All  these,  except  Walker,  were  immigrants  of  1843. 

110  John  Minto,  writing  from  memory  after  many  years,  says  that  Peter  H. 
Burnett  "had  left  a  letter  at  Fort  Hall  in  1843  to  the  effect  that  if  for  any  cause 
there  was  likely  to  be  suffering  before  the  families  could  reach  the  Willamette  and 
we  would  let  it  be  known,  relief  would  be  sent."  Clyman  and  Minto  were  among 
those  who  went  forward  on  horseback.  They  met  Dement,  Waters  and  Rice 
already  on  the  road  to  meet  the  immigrants,  adds  Minto,  Oregon  Hist.  Soc. 
Quarterly,  vol.  2,  June,  1901,  pp.  119-67;  Sept.,  1901,  pp.  209-54. 

-  BOOK  4 

Oct  1844 

[Inside  jront  cover] 
Stapletons  in  California 
Sarcoxie  P.  O.  Missouri 

[The  Blue  Mountains  to  the  Valley  of  the  Willamette,  October  i  to  ij] 

Tuesday  Oct  pt  1844 

A  Beautifull  morning  &  fine  clear  nights  I  neglected  to  mention 
yesterday  that  this  vally  was  nearly  covered  with  horses  when  we  came 
down  the  mountain  but  no  Indians  came  to  our  camp  this  as  well  as  the 
grand  round  vally  being  one  of  the  great  Stoping  places  of  the  Kyuse 
tribe  of  Indians  &  from  them  we  obtained  Some  Potatoes  Corn  Peas  & 
Squashes  of  their  own  raising  they  likewise  are  verry  anxious  to 
obtain  cows  &  other  cattle  for  which  they  exchang  horses  of  which  they 
have  great  Quantities  There  is  no  climate  finer  than  this  if  dry 
weather  constitutes  a  fine  climate  &  indeed  the  days  remind  one  of 
Byrons  discription  of  Italy  not  a  cloud  to  be  seen  neither  day  nor  night 
for  months  togather 

Left  our  encampment  &  proceded  on  the  Trail  2  or  3  miles  when  we 
came  to  a  Kyuse  farm  Krailed  [corralled]  in  with  willows  and  planted 
with  corn  beans  potatoes  &c  &c  here  we  left  the  wagon  trail  which 
turns  to  the  right  &  goes  to  Dr  Whitmans  said  to  be  40  or  50  miles 
further  than  the  rout  we  took  which  goes  down  the  Utilla  I  here 
obser\'ed  that  the  wild  Bunch  grass  of  this  country  was  intirely  eat  out 
near  the  Indian  farms  and  does  not  seem  to  grow  again  Traded  some 
potatoes  of  the  Kyuse  Women  &  proceeded  on  down  the  Utilla  a  fine 
mill-stream  made  16  miles  &  campd  on  the  creek  at  the  head  of  a 
Kenyon  through  which  the  creek  passes  during  the  day  saw  several 
large  roads  leading  in  different  directions 

2"*^  I  neglected  to  mention  that  I  forwarded  all  the  letters  in- 
trusted to  my  care  &  directed  to  Mr  [H.  H.]  Spalding  &  Dr.  [Marcus] 
Whitman  to  Mr  Gilbert  who  left  us  in  the  grand  round  vally  to  go 
directly  to  Dr  Whitmans  &  I  hope  they  went  to  their  proper  directions 

Last  night  about  8  oclock  &  while  we  ware  all  siting  by  our  camp 
fire  talking  &  thinking  ourselves  one  niight  safe  for  horse  thieivs  we 
heard  an  unusual  tramping  of  our  horses  When  I  arose  &  walked  out 
in  the  direction  of  our  horses  what  was  my  surprise  to  find  my  fine  but 
most  st[a]rved  mare  being  driven  off  by  an  Indian  on  hose  back  not 
haveing  brought  my  gun  with  me  I  called  to  him  to  halt  at  which  he 
put  off  at  full  speed  leaveing  the  mare  &  2  mules  that  ware  following 
so  much  for  the  Kyuse  who  are  said  to  be  the  most  honest  Savage  people 


on  the  continent  our  fore  noons-  travel  has  been  mostly  down  the 
utilla  through  a  very  dry  country  the  stream  confined  amidst  a  black 
wall  of  volcanick  rocks  &  over  a  dryer  upland  thinly  coated  with  short 
grass  made  26  miles  &  encamped  on  the  utilla  several  Indians 
made  their  appearance  but  did  not  come  to  us  this  afternoon  passed 
some  small  patches  of  cultivated  land  in  a  small  but  rich  vally  near  the 
creek  the  weather  contines  verry  smoky  allthough  we  have  not  seen 
aney  fires  for  several  days  this  creek  does  not  afford  any  valuable 
timber  ther  being  nothing  but  cotton  wood  that  grows  to  any  size  &  that 
is  verry  shrubly 

3**  Left  our  camp  amidst  the  walla  walla  camps  there  being  3  of 
their  fires  in  sight  none  of  them  came  near  us  during  the  night  &  as 
several  men  ware  robed  by  them  last  season  we  ware  glad  to  [see]  that 
they  kept  at  a  distanc  our  party  being  now  reduced  to  4  men  the  others 
some  haveing  gone  to  Dr  Whitmans  and  some  having  preceded  us  on 
leaveing  camp  We  likewise  left  the  timber  which  extends  no  farthe 
down  the  utilla  the  stream  running  over  black  burned  rocks  to  whare  it 
enters  the  Columbia  came  on  the  banks  of  the  great  river  about  11 
o'clock  which  shews  no  change  but  runs  through  sand  planes  &  rocky 
banks  so  far  as  we  went  without  timber  or  drift  wood  except  here  & 
there  a  small  clump  of  willows  &  those  scarce  passed  several  encamp- 
ments of  Wallawallas  sutuate  on  sand  bars  along  the  river  which  came 
out  &  gazed  at  us  as  we  passed 

Made  24  miles  over  mostly  sand  plains  covered  with  sage  &  prickly 
pears  bothe  of  which  we  thought  &  hoped  that  we  had  passed  at  our 
camp  we  found  it  difficult  to  gather  as  much  Brush  weeds  &  sage  as 
would  boil  a  fiw  potatoes  &  a  cup  of  coffee  the  river  looks  Beautiful 
&  the  water  clear  and  good  but  nothing  else  can  be  seen  to  change  the 
sight  of  the  detested  sage  &  sand  pines  — 

Create  Quantities  of  Salmon  are  taken  in  the  utilla  when  the  water 
is  up  in  June  and  their  appears  to  be  plenty  of  that  Fish  in  the  stream 
yet  as  we  could  hear  splunging  on  the  ripples  all  night  but  they  are 
[not]  considered  good  at  this  season  haveing  become  Quite  poor  from 
thier  long  stay  in  fresh  water  as  the  smallest  kind  of  a  fish  could  not 
assend  this  streame  at  this  season  of  the  year  the  upper  vally  of  this 
stream  would  make  some  handsome  farms  if  their  was  any  timber  to  be 
had  but  none  is  seen  except  cottonwood  &  willow 

4  Had  a  Quiet  nights  rest  and  a  Beautifull  clear  morning  Lef 
our  camp  on  the  great  river  &  proceed  down  the  River  passed  several 
Indian  villages  all  on  the  oposite  side  nothing  seen  but  rocks  sand  &  a 
shrubby  stinted  grotH  of  vegetation  with  here  &  there   [a]   Bunch  of 

DIARY,  OCTOBER,  1844  lo7 

short  grass  the  north  side  of  the  River  appears  to  be  closely  Bound 
by  a  ridge  of  Black  frowning  rocks      current  of  the  river  rapid 

The  ridge  of  rocks  mentioned  in  the  fore  noon  closed  up  on  the  sauth 
side  in  afternoon  and  gave  us  an  uncommon  bad  road  even  in  this  steril 
region  and  we  had  to  travil  over  sharp  rocks  or  deep  sands  &  sometimes 
both  the  rocks  being  covered  deep  in  sand  so  that  our  horses  sunk  half 
leg  deep  in  sand  &  then  stepd  on  unknown  sharp  rocks  at  the  bottom 
makeing  the  way  extremely  tiresome  &  bad 

Made  26  miles  &  encamped  on  the  (on  the)  River  again  before 
we  had  packed  up  three  men  with  thier  guide  &  enterperter  came  up 
from  Willamette  on  their  way  to  meet  the  emegrants  one  of  them 
general  [M.  M.]  M'^Carver  was  expecting  to  see  his  family  on  the  road 
but  we  could  not  give  him  any  information  concerning  them  we  soon 
parted  they  proceeding  up  &  we  down  the  river 

The  general  seemed  to  speak  in  raptures  of  the  Oregon  Country  and 
even  went  on  to  say  that  on  the  top  of  the  cliff  of  Black  rocks  under 
which  we  ware  encamped  was  a  fine  grazeing  country  this  may  be 
admitted  but  certainly  their  was  not  the  amount  of  one  cord  of  wood  in 
the  circuit  of  25  miles  &  perhaps  not  a  drop  of  water  in  the  same 
distance  except  what  flowed  in  the  Columbia  &  many  other  extravi- 

5  Left  our  camp  once  more  after  haveing  28  miles  of  the  most 
tiresome  Travel  we  had  yet  found  on  account  of  the  Quantity  of  sharp 
fallen  rocke  which  filled  the  path  over  which  we  had  to  travel  the 
[path]  leading  near  the  water  in  under  a  cliff  of  dark  perpendicular 
rocks  the  fragments  of  which  had  fallin  down  &  choked  up  all  the 
narrow  wally  far  in  to  the  water  some  times  disending  to  a  considerable 
hight  immediately  under  the  cliff  &  then  acsending  back  to  the  water 
edge  along  a  narrow  path  which  one  animal  could  scarcely  travel  in 
over  sharp  rocks  made  the  road  tiresome  in  the  extreme  &  we  traveled 
steadly  all  day  without  stopping  the  afternoon  being  windy  & 
Bo[is]torows  the  dust  &  sand  nearly  choked  us  when  about  sundown 
we  came  to  a  small  open  vally  &  encamped  for  the  night  tired  and  glad 
to  find  a  resting  place  larg  enough  to  ley  down  on  these  rocks  remind 
one  of  emmense  walled  cities  castled  forts  &  ruins  of  tremendious  mag- 
nitude but  this  is  the  last  place  in  the  world  to  enjoy  any  such  scenery 
whare  nothing  is  to  be  seen  but  rocks  Sand  &  Savages 


6  Crossed  Johndays  River  early  which  like  all  the  country  in  this 
region  comes  in  through  steep  rocks  &  is  difficult  to  cross  on  account  of 
the  rocks  being  very  steep  passed  severall  steep  cliffs  all  of  which  may 
[be]  said  to  be  dangerous  on  account  of  the  loose  rocks  of  which  they 


are  composed  &  the  high  perpendicular  cliffs  below  jetting  over  the 
river  Late  in  the  afternoon  passed  the  river  De  Shutes  made  44 
miles  in  the  2  days 

7  yestarday  evening  after  passing  the  River  De  Chuttes  took  a 
guide  who  conducted  us  a  short  rout  over  the  hills  to  a  small  rich  vally 
with  handsome  little  Brook  running  through  it  whare  we  encamped  for 
the  night  this  vally  would  bear  cutivation  but  has  no  timber  in 
sight  saw  mount  hood  nearly  west  covered  in  snow  nearly  half  way 
dow[n]  its  sides       this  weather  continues  thick  &  smoky 

yanky  story 

Every  device  and  artifice  is  used  by  the  natives  of  this  river  to 
obtain  amunition  &  other  manufactoried  articles  of  the  whites  &  the 
following  was  used  by  some  natives  to  day  5  or  6  natives  came  leap- 
ing &  yelling  gaily  from  bahind  the  sand  hills  one  [had]  a  small 
piece  of  dried  salmon  an  other  a  few  handfulls  of  com  a  3**  some  dried 
roots  each  bringing  something  &  insisted  that  we  should  eat  we 
continued  moveing  on  &  they  running  along  side  offering  ther  subsist- 
ance  without  price  untill  reaching  a  bend  in  the  River  westoped  to  let 
our  horses  drink  when  one  of  them  spreading  his  blanket  on  the  sand 
they  spread  out  the  repast  for  us,  &  obliged  us  to  taste  the  provision 
which  gave  them  a  fair  right  to  beg  and  importune  us  for  tobacca  Lead 
powder  and  in  short  every  small  article  they  could  think  of  after 
giving  a  part  of  what  they  wanted  we  rode  on  they  seeming  well  pleased 

Reached  M''  [H.  K.  W.]  Perkins  missionary  station  in  the  fore  noon 
now  occupid  by  M""  [Alvan  F.]  Waller  delivered  to  him  a  letter  taken 
from  the  office  at  west  port  Mr  Waller  apears  to  be  a  gentleman  but 
I  do  not  recolect  that  he  thanked  me  for  the  care  &  trouble  of  bringing 
the  letter  but  the  reverend  gentleman  must  be  excused  for  my  appear- 
ance certanly  did  not  shew  that  I  could  appreceate  any  civilities  not 
haveing  shaved  for  about  15  day  or  changed  clothes  for  more  than  30 
and  the  Reverend  gentleman  pricking  himself  verry  much  on  outward 
appearances  as  I  have  since  understood 

8  started  up  the  steep  ridge  west  of  the  creek  &  in  ^^  an  hour 
reached  the  top  our  selve  &  horses  in  a  foam  of  sweat  on  account  of  the 
steepness  of  the  path  but  the  cool  mountain  Breeze  soon  relieved  our 
lungs  this  like  all  the  ridges  of  this  mountain  was  soon  crossed  &  we 
had  a  longer  &  steeper  decent  than  any  previouly  crossed  but  after  a 
pack  horse  or  two  pitching  thire  loads  over  their  heads  we  at  length 
reached  not  the  bottom  but  smoothe  going  which  fell  into  deep  ravines 
to  the  right  passed  over  an  uneven  plain  covered  with  the  pines  & 
largest  kind  of  Fir  &  pine  timber  interspersed  with  stented  oaks  this 
continued  for  some  9    [?]    miles  with  several  small   Brook  passing 

DIARY,  OCTOBER,  1844  lo9 

through  made  18  miles  &  encamped  near  the  bank  of  rapid  tumbling 
mountain  torrent  immediately  below  the  forks  the  eastern  branch 
from  its  colour  &  appearanc  being  a  part  of  the  weepings  from  the 
white  summit  of  Mount  Hood  which  is  covered  in  snow  more  than  half 
way  down  its  sides 

The  ridges  over  which  we  passed  are  verry  steep  and  high  being 
about  2  miles  &  about  the  same  distance  down  the  opposite  side 

From  the  missionary  establishment  passed  yestarday  there  is  a 
grand  view  of  the  Columbia  pushing  its  course  through  the  black  Frown- 
ing rocks  which  stand  in  thick  profusion  in  over  &  about  the  stream  with 
the  wildest  mountain  scenery  in  all  directions  &  of  all  kinds  surmounted 
in  the  north  west  by  a  conicle  summit  of  a  mountain  caped  in  Eternal 

9  Proceede  early  up  the  East  side  of  the  stream  we  had  encamped 
on  &  soon  crossed  the  Eastern  branch  the  water  being  very  rapid 
tumbling  &  roling  down  amidst  the  rocks  which  lay  so  thick  that  it  was 
difficult  for  our  horses  to  keep  their  feet  pased  up  the  stream  some 
miles  through  allmost  impervious  thickits  of  veer[y]  green  shrubery  of 
to  me  new  &  unknown  kinds  crossed  over  to  the  W  Branch  through 
the  same  kind  of  Shrubery  &  passed  up  the  East  side  of  the  W  Branch 
through  immence  groves  of  Fir  timber  the  tallest  &  straites  I  ever  beheld 
some  supposed  to  be  nearly  or  Quite  100  feet  high  &  not  more  than  18 
inches  through  at  the  ground  immence  mountains  covered  and 
crouded  thickly  with  timber  apearing  in  all  directions  in  the  after- 
noon we  assended  an  open  ridge  the  large  timber  having  (havein)  been 
killed  off  by  fire  &  from  this  ridge  we  had  a  splendid  view  of  mount 
Hood  &  various  other  ridges  &  pinicles  some  thickly  timbered  to  their 
summits  others  nearly  bar  or  covered  with  under  brush  shewing  at  this 
season  a  greate  veriaty  of  [colors]  some  covered  with  a  species  of 
dwarf  maple  wore  a  deep  red  appearance  others  y allow  &  Brown  con- 
trasted with  the  deep  green  Firr  of  othe[r]  points  &  the  white  snowy 
summit  of  Mount  Hood  gave  us  all  the  veriety  of  shades  allmost  between 
green  white  &  red  But  soon  we  took  down  the  steep  sides  again  &  all 
views  ware  lost  except  now  &  then  a  perpendicular  peep  up  an  immence 
Firr  tree  which  seemed  to  have  no  reasonable  stopping  but  went  on  to  a 
dizzy  hight 

Made  about  25  miles  &  encamped  after  sun  down  tied  up  our 
horses  not  having  seen  a  hanfull  of  grass  during  the  day 

10  Saddled  our  Starved  animals  and  proceed  up  the  couse  of  one 
of  branches  of  the  same  creek  we  followed  all  day  yesterday  the  same 
immence  Quantity  of  timber  continueing  &  not  in  the  [least]  diminished 
in  Size  &  hight      in  about  4  hours  winding  around  &  jumping  over 


logs  we  (we)  assended  the  highest  ridge  of  the  cascade  mountains  over 
which  the  trail  passes  but  the  timber  prevented  us  forom  having  any 
view  in  any  direction  turning  short  to  the  west  we  began  our  desent 
down  the  western  declivity  &  following  the  course  of  a  ravine  through 
which  ran  a  clear  Brook  of  cool  water  we  desended  rapidly  and  found 
going  down  hill  more  pleasant  than  going  up  especially  when  one  goes 
on  foot  as  we  all  did  our  horses  not  being  able  to  carry  us  in  about  3 
hours  we  came  to  an  open  sandy  vally  through  which  ran  a  rapid  Brook 
called  Sandy  the  vally  being  more  than  a  mile  wide  &  covered  with  sand 
&  Loose  rock 

This  vally  appeared  to  have  been  a  deep  mountain  ravine  at  no 
distant  period  from  the  greate  Quantities  of  dry  Firr  that  [were]  stand- 
ing on  each  side  and  lay  strewn  over  and  intermingled  with  the  rocks 
and  sand  and  as  the  Stream  takes  its  rise  from  the  summer  weepings  of 
Ice  &  snow  on  the  western  declivity  of  Moimt  Hood  I  conclud  that  some 
tremendious  avalanch  must  have  deceended  into  the  vally  carrying 
every  thing  before  it  rock  sand  gravel  timber  &  all  in  one  confused  mass 
the  whole  being  carried  down  filled  up  the  narrow  ravine  &  forming  the 
present  vally  now  Just  begining  to  shew  a  stented  groth  of  young  Firrs 
or  that  some  internal  heat  must  have  melted  off  the  ice  &  the  immence 
flood  of  water  broke  over  all  its  original  bounds  tore  away  from  the 
lower  part  of  the  mountain  [the]  mixed  mass  that  now  fills  &  forms  the 

1 1  Left  our  camp  on  sandy  &  proceded  along  the  blind  trail  down 
the  stream  at  a  slow  gate  untill  nearly  noon  the  brawling  mountain 
torrent  haveing  assumed  Quite  the  appearanc  of  a  river  we  left  the 
stream  &  turned  short  to  the  right  &  soon  came  to  a  kind  of  Brushy 
opening  of  rich  soil  &  some  grass  whare  we  stoped  to  graze  an  hour 
saw  some  male  Fern  growing  here  nine  or  10  feet  in  hight 

moved  on  the  trail  along  a  narrow  ridge  amongst  the  tall  Firr  and 
the  emmence  large  Hemlock  timber  grate  Quantities  lying  down  &  more 
standing  Several  small  Brooks  crossing  our  path  untill  near  sundown 
we  came  to  an  opening  or  Small  Prairie  whare  we  encamped  for  the 
night  going  nearly  5^  amile  down  a  steep  declivity  for  water  to  cook 
our  Suppers  during  the  whole  of  today  the  country  had  been 
burned  some  still  on  fire  &  some  had  been  burned  last  year  the  under 
Brush  being  killed  &  the  larger  [timber]  haveing  fallen  in  all  directions 
made  the  travelling  verry  bad  &  tiresome  as  our  horses  had  to  leap  over 
all  the  logs  filled  with  sharp  snags  &  limbs  to  the  greate  danger  of  letting 
out  their  entrails 

Made  about  18  miles  &  we  ware  glad  to  find  a  spot  of  green  grass 
for  our  animals  to  feed  on  during  the  night      these  mountains  do  not 

DIARY,  OCTOBER,  1844  111 

appear  to  have  much  game  on  them  as  we  saw  nothing  but  a  few  small 
Squirrels  &  some  Pheasants  the  latter  plenty  in  (in)  some  places  & 
several  ware  killed  to  day  which  proved  to  make  a  fine  Treat  and  ate 
well  being  fat  and  finely  flavorured  passed  several  small  spots  of 
land  that  appeared  to  have  a  deep  rich  soil  of  pale  redish  coloured  clay 
mingled  with  decomposed  rock  and  gravel  and  generally  covered  with  an 
emmence  thick  and  large  groth  of  firr  timber 

12  Again  under  way  before  Sunrise  a  stiff  white  frost  covered 
the  grass  &  weeds  in  an  hours  travel  we  came  down  a  Steep  hill  into 
a  low  ground  completely  strewn  over  with  logs  &  brush  a  late  fire 
having  passed  over  in  many  [places]  the  smoldring  logs  ware  (ware) 
yet  smoking  after  leaping  logs  &  Braking  Brush  we  succeeded  in 
gaining  the  Banks  of  sandy  the  stream  we  left  to  the  south  of  us  yes- 
tardy  &  crossed  to  South  side  whare  for  a  mile  or  more  we  encountred 
the  same  difficulties  as  on  the  North  side  after  greate  exertion  to  our 
Jaded  animals  we  at  length  gained  the  top  of  the  Bluffs  whare  the  pathe 
became  more  opin  and  traveling  more  pleasant  crossing  two  or  three 
handsome  Brooks  &  passing  as  many  thickets  we  at  length  gained  an 
open  highland  of  fine  Soil  covered  thickly  with  fern  &  dug  thickly  with 
holes  by  some  Burrowing  animal  what  kind  I  did  not  asertain^^^ 

Made  about  IS  miles  and  encamped  at  a  small  Spring  whare  we 
found  fair  grazing  for  our  animals  and  we  made  preperations  for  Shave- 
ing  &  prepareing  ourselves  to  see  our  countrymen  tomorrow 

allmost  wearied  out  with  the  continual  watching  it  requires  to  tarvel 
through  an  unsettled  country  such  as  we  had  now  passed  our  little 
party  felt  lively  and  happy  and  [it]  Bcame  a  pleasant  task  to  once  more 
wash  shave  and  bathe  ourselves  in  the  cold  clear  running  little  brook 
that  passed  our  present  encampment  and  we  spent  a  Jovial  evening 
around  our  camp  fire  in  the  anticipation  that  for  a  while  at  least  our 
constant  toils  ware  about  to  ceas  as  we  knew  the  setlements  ware  not 
far  distant  about  dark  two  Indians  of  the  Walla  walla  tribe  came  up 
&  camp*^  near  having  been  to  willhamett  trading  they  remained  with 
us  &  in  the  morning  we  parted  each  [going  his  own]  road 


13  Early  we  ware  again  on  our  saddles  and  Kept  down  the  valy 
of  (of)  some  creek  or  river  [of]  which  we  heard  the  water  rippeling  but 
did  not  come  in  sight  of  the  stream,  the  trail  leading  along  through  a 
kind  of  firr  opening  whare  the  grass  in  places  looked  green  as  summer 
in  spots  but  we  soon  passed  over  all  the  fine  places  going  up  (and)  steep 
banks  through  brush  &  logs  allmost  impassable  the  woods  haveing  been 
recently  burned  &  many  old  logs  yet  smoking  and  again  crossed  sandy 

m  Probably  the  Sewellel  or  Aplodontia,  a  burrowing  rodent  about  the  size  of 
a  muskrat,  and  inhabiting  the  fern  thickets  in  the  Cascade  Mountains. 


haveing  increased  to  a  small  river  still  running  rapid  over  a  rocky  bed 
the  low  grounds  being  Utterly  covered  with  logs  and  brush  after  tear- 
ing through  brush  and  leaping  logs  about  an  hour  we  at  length  assended 
the  bluffs  &  found  an  open  trail  comparatively  crossed  Several  fine 
running  brooks  of  clear  water  steep  guters  &c  &c  About  2  oclock 
P.M.  came  on  the  top  of  ridge  &  saw  some  cattle  feeding  on  the  vally 
of  the  clackimus  River  &  soon  came  in  sight  of  a  cabbin  the  first  of  the 
settlement  of  Willhamett  and  on  enquiry  found  we  ware  within  4  miles 
of  the  Falls  of  Willhamett  the  Seat  of  government  &  the  main  com- 
mercial place  for  all  the  settlments  of  the  Teritory  of  Oregon  crossed 
a  rough  rocky  Ridge  &  came  to  a  small  farm  or  two  on  the  bottom  land 
of  the  Clackimus  crossed  the  river  at  an  old  Chinook  village  and  in 
y2  an  hour  we  ware  on  the  banks  of  the  Willhamett  River  and  at  (on) 
the  lower  part  of  the  town  or  city  platt 

as  soon  as  I  entered  the  village  I  shook  hands  with  a  Mr  Ware  [J.  W. 
Wair]  a  young  man  of  my  acquaintance  from  Indiana  who  came  out 
with  the  last  years  emigration       20  miles 

[Along  the  Willamette  in  1844  and  184^] 

It  Commenced  Raining  on  [Oct.]  the  21  which  is  Earlier  than  usual 
From  the  13^^  to  the  22"'^  remained  at  the  falls  of  Wilhamett  or  in  the 
near  vicinity  when  Three  of  us  precured  a  skiff  and  made  an  excursion 
down  to  Fort  Vancouver 

This  great  depository  of  goods  and  peltries  for  all  the  Indian  trade 
west  of  the  main  range  of  the  Rocky  mountains  stands  on  a  gravely  plain 
on  the  north  side  of  the  Columbia  River  and  about  five  miles  above  the 
upper  mouth  of  the  Wilhamet  and  is  situated  bearly  above  extreme  high 
water  mark 

The  Fort  itself  is  a  wooden  stockade  and  contains  in  its  inside  the 
companies  store  all  the  officies  of  the  companj^  and  a  complete  Quad- 
angular  row  of  Buildings  for  servants  &c  which  like  the  outer  works 
can  be  closed  by  port  doors  at  pleasure  all  in  a  good  State  of  repair 
&  kept  clean  and  neat 

The  present  incumbent  Doct.  [John]  McLaughlin  received  us  verry 
hospitably  and  intertained  us  in  the  most  kind  genteel  and  agreeable 
manner  during  our  stay  at  the  Fort  giving  all  the  information  desired 
on  all  subjects  connected  with  the  country  but  seemed  anxious  that 
greate  Brittain  might  retain  the  north  of  the  Columbia  river  saying  that 
it  was  poor  and  of  little  use  except  the  Fur  and  peltries  that  it  yealded 
this  may  or  may  not  be  the  fact^^^ 

112  McLaughlin's  protests  were  unavailing.  A  number  of  the  1844  immigrants 
established  themselves  north  of  the  Columbia,  being  the  first  Americans  who 
settled  there. 

DIARY,  OCTOBER,  1844  113 

2S**»  On  our  return  from  Vancouver  the  morning  being  pleasant 
I  took  my  gun  and  left  the  skiff  to  the  management  of  my  comrades  and 
landed  on  the  western  shore  of  the  Willhamet  I  soon  found  a  stripe 
of  open  Prarie  land  overflown  in  high  water  but  now  dry  and  pleasant 
walking  with  here  and  there  a  pool  of  mud  and  water  which  has  stood 
the  drough  of  summer  These  pools  or  ponds  are  now  overgrown  with 
several  kind  of  vegitation  and  (and)  Utterly  and  completely  covered 
over  with  water  fowl  of  various  kinds  from  the  nobl  and  majestick  swan 
down  to  the  Teal  &  plover  For  miles  the  air  seemed  to  be  darkened 
with  the  emmenc  flights  that  arose  as  I  proceeded  up  the  vally  the 
morning  being  still  thier  nois  was  tumultuous  and  grand  the  hoarse 
shrieks  of  the  Heron  intermingled  with  the  Symphonic  Swan  the  fine 
treble  of  the  Brant  answered  by  the  strong  Bass  of  the  goose  with 
ennumerable  shreeking  and  Quacking  of  the  large  and  Smaller  duck 
tribe  filled  every  evenue  of  Surrounding  space  with  nois  and  reminded 
one  of  Some  aerial  battle  as  discribed  by  Milton  and  all  though  I  had 
been  on  the  grand  pass  of  waterfowl  on  the  Illinois  River  it  will  not 
begin  to  bear  a  comparison  with  this  thier  being  probably  Half  a  Million 
in  sight  at  one  time  and  all  appearantly  Screaming  &  Screeching  at  once 

26  Arived  at  the  Falls  again  the  las  week  being  showery. 

27  Sunday       Fair  and  warm      wrote  to  H  J  Ross"^ 

[Clyman's  Letter  to  Ross] 

COL.  CLYMAN.  —  Most  of  our  readers  in  this  vicinity,  and  particularly  those 
who  are  old  settlers,  remember  Col.  James  Clyman,  one  of  the  earliest  settlers  of 
Wisconsin,  and  they  know  also  that  a  year  ago  last  spring  the  Col.  started  with  an 
emigrating  party  to  Oregon.  A  few  days  since  Mr.  Hiram  Ross  received  a  letter 
from  the  Col.  which  we  subjoin.  We  are  confident  that  we  could  not  give  place  in 
our  columns  to  any  thing  that  would  be  more  acceptable. 

Willamet  Falls,  Oregon, 
October  27,  1844. 

I  arrived  here  on  the  ijth  day  of  the  present  month,  having  been 
on  the  way  151  days  from  Independence,  Missouri,  which  was  at  least 
one  month  longer  than  were  the  last  year's  company  of  emigrants. 
This  was  owing  to  the  unusual  rains  that  fell  during  the  first  two  months 
after  our  departure  from  Missouri. 

My  health  is  good  and  has  been  during  the  whole  route.  The 
health  of  the  small  party  that  accompanied  me  is  also  good.  The  last 
thousand  miles  no  interruption  from  the  Indians  took  place,  nor  did 
even  a  shower  of  rain  fall  to  lay  the  dust. 

113  This  letter,  which  follows,  is  quoted  from  the  Milwaukee  Courier,  Aug.  13, 


None  of  the  families  have  yet  arrived.  The  foremost  are  expected 
to  reach  this  neighborhood  in  about  a  week.  The  last  range  of  moun- 
tains, called  the  Cascades,  have  never  been  passed  with  waggons.  We 
were  five  days  passing  over  this  range  of  mountains,  and  found  it  by  far 
the  most  difficult  and  fatiguing  part  of  the  journey,  both  for  ourselves 
and  our  horses.  The  mountains  extend  to  within  a  few  miles  of  this 
place.  The  range  runs  nearly  north  and  south.  The  Willamet  is  on 
the  west  side  of  the  mountains.  The  Columbia  breaks  through  from 
east  to  west;  it  has  a  number  of  dangerous  passes,  and  two  falls  that 
cannot  be  passed  by  the  lightest  canoe.  Our  families,  waggons  and 
baggage  were  carried  around  the  falls;  the  portages  however  are  not 

The  settlements  of  this  Territory  appear  to  be  in  a  good  and  pros- 
perous condition.  Even  the  last  years'  emigrants,  some  of  whom  have 
not  been  more  than  g  or  lo  months  on  their  new  farms,  have  plenty  for 
themselves,  and  some  to  spare  for  their  countrymen  now  on  the  way. 
Of  bread,  beef,  fish,  and  potatoes  of  a  superior  kind,  we  have  plenty. 
The  three  first  mentioned  articles  are  exported.  The  Brig  Columbia  is 
now  freighted  with  wheat  and  flour,  and  will  sail  in  a  few  days  for  the 
Sandwich  Islands.  A  probable  trade  with  the  Islands  is  already  com- 
menced. From  us  they  receive  wheat,  flour,  beef,  pork  and  lumber. 
In  return  we  receive  from  the  British,  Chinese  &  American  manu- 
factured articles;  and  molasses,  sugar,  coffee,  and  rice,  the  growth  of 
the  Islands. 

Standing  in  the  door  of  my  present  lodgings  I  can  count  sixty-two 
buildings.  They  form  the  present  village  of  the  city  of  Oregon.  Tim- 
ber and  lumber  lay  scattered  about  for  more  buildings,  say  8  or  lo. 
Several  other  villages,  (one  or  two  of  them  I  have  seen)  have  some  pre- 
tensions to  future  greatness,  but  are  quite  small  as  yet. 

The  Hudson  Bay  Company  transact  nearly  all  the  foreign  and 
domestic  trade.  The  Company  derive  great  profit  from  the  business, 
and  at  the  same  time  accomodate  the  inhabitants  of  the  Territory,  who 
are  all  agriculturists  and  mechanics  without  capital  sufficient  for  com- 
mercial pursuits.  On  our  arrival  we  found  the  country  dry  and  parched. 
We  have  recently  had  a  week  of  warm  rainy  weather.  The  grass  has 
commenced  springing  up  and  looks  much  like  our  Wisconsin  prairies 
in  May.  The  leaves  of  such  trees  as  shed  their  foliage  are  yellow  and 
beginning  to  fall.  The  kinds  shedding  the  leaf  are  oak,  a  species  of 
maple,  alow  [willow?],  box  wood,  hazel,  elder,  &c,  all  small  and  scrubby, 
compared  to  those  in  the  states  except  elder  and  alder,  which  here  grow 
quite  large.  Notwithstanding  the  ease  with  which  the  necessaries  of 
life  are  acquired,  I  never  saw  a  more  discontented  community,  owing 


principally  to  natural  disposition.  Nearly  all,  like  myself,  having  been 
of  a  roving  discontented  character  before  leaving  their  eastern  homes. 
The  long  tiresome  trip  from  the  States,  has  taught  them  what  they  are 
capable  of  performing  and  enduring.  They  talk  of  removing  to  the 
Islands,  California,  Chili,  and  other  parts  of  South  America  with  as 
much  composure  as  you  in  Wisconsin  talk  of  removing  to  Indiana  or 

Almost  the  first  man  I  met  on  my  arrival,  was  J.  M.  Weir  formerly 
of  Indiana,  who  served  with  me  in  the  Rangers.  I  also  hear  of  Lan- 
caster Clyman,^^^  who  is  married  and  settled  some  40  or  §0  miles  up  the 
Willamet.  I  expect  to  see  him  this  week.  It  is  said  that  he  is  doing 

You  recollect  the  large  stories  we  used  to  hear  respecting  the 
immense  size  and  height  of  timber  in  this  country.  The  largest  timber 
I  have  seen  is  an  evergreen  of  the  fir  kind.  One  tree  that  I  measured 
a  few  days  since,  is  six  feet  four  inches  in  diameter  and  268  feet  long. 
The  tree  was  felled  with  an  axe  last  summer.  The  firr  is  of  two  kinds, 
white  and  red;  both  good  for  timber  and  lumber,  and  generally  splits 
easy,  making  the  neatest  rail  fences  I  have  ever  seen;  it  has  the  appear- 
ance of  being  durable.  This  is  the  season  for  sowing  wheat;  all  the 
farmers  are  busily  employed,  it  having  been  heretofore  too  dry  to  sprout 
the  grain.  The  farmer  can  sow  wheat  from  August  until  June,  with  a 
certainty  of  reaping  a  fair  compensation  for  his  labor.  The  straw  of 
that  sown  in  May  grows  very  short  which  renders  it  difficult  to  harvest. 
That  sown  early  and  in  good  order  grows  large  and  long,  measuring  5 
and  6  feet,  and  in  some  extraordinary  cases,  it  has  been  known  to 
measure  y  feet  in  length,  with  a  proportionable  length  of  head.  The 
grain  or  berry  of  aU  that  I  have  seen  is  remarkable  for  its  round  plump 

The  small  Canada  corn  comes  to  perfection;  oats  likewise  grow 
well;  Irish  potatoes  are  of  a  fine  quality  and  yield  abundantly.  The 
streams  I  am  told  never  freeze  over,  nor  does  the  snow  cover  the  ground 
more  than  3  or  4  days  at  any  one  time  during  the  winter.  The  open  or 
prairie  valleys  are  small,  almost  all  the  uplands  are  covered  thickly  with 
the  loftiest  firr.  The  earth  is  thickly  covered  with  bogs,  underbrush, 
and  the  male  fern  called  by  some  brake.  It  grows  in  many  places  up  to 
my  shoulders,  and  so  thick  that  I  found  it  impossible  in  some  instances 
to  break  through  it. 

I  have  crowded  all  I  could  on  one  sheet  which  I  send  by  Mr. 
Perkins  of  the  brig  Columbia,  bound  to  Oahoo  on  the  Sandwich  Islands, 

114  This  may  be  James  Clyman's  brother.    His  name  appears  in  Bancroft's  list 
of  the  1843  immigration  as  "L.  Clymour." 


whence  I  hope  it  will  find  its  way  by  the  whalers  to  Boston  or  some 
other  port  in  the  States.  You  may  not  hear  from  me  again  until  I  reach 


[Continuation  of  the  Diaries] 

28  The  morning  Foggy      day  Fair 

29  Slight  Showers  through  the  night  and  in  fact  continued  all  day 

30  Rained  all  night  slight  showers  through  the  day 

31  Riany  and  windy  most  of  the  night  the  winds  so  far  from 
the  S.  W.  morning  still  and  foggy  But  cleared  off  in  the  Forenoon  & 
continued  clear  &  warm  all  day 


Friday  the  P*  November  fair  and  warm  the  Hazel  &  willow 
begining  to  shed  their  Leaves 

2  Left  the  falls  &  rode  out  westwardly  20  miles  to  the  Twalitine 
Plains  over  an  undulating  Firr  Plain  in  many  Places  Quite  open  soil 
a  dark  red  clay  the  planes  themselves  are  fine  open  Prarie  of  good 
deep  clay  Loam  solil  Staid  with  a  M""  Pomroy  [Walter  Pomeroy]  who 
has  a  farm  of  180  acres  in  cultivation      this  day  was  fair 

3'*  it  rained  several  Showers  through  the  night  But  cleared  away 
in  the  morning  Passed  nearly  through  the  Twalitine  settlements  con- 
taining about  Sixty  families  all  appearing  in  a  thrifty  condition  thiere 
farms  on  rich  smoothe  clay  Prairie  Had  a  Beautiful  view  of  Mount 
Hood  clothed  in  his  white  mantle  of  snow  &  Looking  out  far  above  a 
girdle  of  clouds  that  wrap**,  his  icy  sides. 

4  Pased  through  several  Beautifull  small  Praries  most  of  which 
are  claimed  &  on  [which]  some  fair  sized  Farms  have  commenced  which 
shew  that  the  occupants  have  been  handsomely  Rewarded  for  their 
labour  crossed  the  three  Branches  of  the  Twalitine  River  all 
narrow  streams  but  deep  as  our  horses  had  to  swim  and  we  passed  over 
on  some  (of)  long  Firr  trees  which  had  been  felled  across  them  Pased 
through  the  Chehalem  vally  a  high  open  vally  about  a  mile  wide  ex- 
tending from  the  South  Branch  of  Twaletine  to  the  Yam  Hill  river 
which  is  likewise  a  Tributory  of  the  wilhamet  this  vally  is  bounded  on 
the  east  with  high  rounded  rang  of  hills  well  set  with  fine  green  grass 
and  covered  thinly  with  short  Junts  of  shrubby  white  oaks  on  the 
west  it  rises  up  into  a  much  higher  range  of  hills  thickly  cowered  with 
tall  Firr  timber 

5  Crossed  a  range  of  high  rounded  hills  covered  with  excelent 
grass  and  whare  it  had  been  burned  16  or  18  days  it  was  now  green 

DIARY,  NOVEMBER,  1844  117 

and  fair  pasturage  that  which  had  not  been  burned  of  was  likewise 
green  &  good  grazing  crossed  the  Yam  Hill  Rivir  about  Twelve  Rods 
wide  deep  &  navegable  for  smal  Boats  haveing  a  range  of  new  farms 
both  up  and  down  on  the  Prairies  near  the  stream  came  up  in  the 
evening  at  Mr.  Mannings^^*^  who  came  out  with  the  last  years  emigration 
but  who  has  a  fair  start  for  farming  haveing  raised  about  300  bus**  of 
wheat  sown  in  May  last  on  new  Broke  Prarie  In  crossing  the  Hills 
spoken  of  we  passed  immediately  through  several  clouds  or  banks  of 
thick  misty  fog  so  thick  that  we  could  not  see  scarcely  two  rods  around 
us  and  nearly  dark  as  night  &  when  all  at  once  we  passed  out  into 
open  Sunshine  immediately  around  us  the  Fog  being  above  below  and 
all  around  us  in  thick  dark  fleecy  clouds  arising  into  the  upper  atmos- 
phere and  passing  off  to  the  N.  E.  and  reathing  around  the  lower  parts 
of  Mount  Hood  while  the  top  appears  to  enjoy  almost  an  Eeternal 
sunshine  to  give  Beauty  to  its  glaziers 

6     spent  the  day  with  M"^  Manning      it  rained  all  the  afternoon 
walked  around  with  our  guns  But  had  no  success  in  hunting      the  deer 
appear  to  be  plenty  But  confined  themselves  to  the  thickets  which  are 
allmost  impassable  through  this  whole  region  of  country 

7  Showers  of  Rain  fell  during  the  Day 

8  Cloudy  without  rain      a  white  frost  last  night 

9  some  rain  last  night  with  slight  showers  through  the  day — 
visited  several  Neighbours  all  Buisy  and  appear  to  be  doing  well 
though  several  are  dissatisfied  and  talk  of  callifornia 

Sunday  the  10  A  Dense  Fog  covered  the  whole  vally  of  the  Yam 
Hill  &  Willhamet  rivers  and  fell  almost  like  a  rain  about  noon  the 
fog  arose  &  we  had  a  Bright  sunny  after  noon  walked  out  over  a  fine 
rounded  ridge  covered  with  green  grass  now  springing  up  Beautifully 
&  haveing  the  appearance  of  wheat  fields  in  the  states  at  this  season  of 
the  year  from  the  top  of  this  ridge  I  had  a  Beautifull  extensive  view 
of  the  yam  Hill  Streching  away  to  the  N.  W.  untill  it  mingled  with  the 
Brown  roling  oak  hills  rising  into  the  dark  green  Firr  mountains  beyond 
the  vally  itself  covered  in  a  young  growth  of  green  grass  the  old  haveing 
been  burned  off  not  exceeding  Thirty  days  [ago.] 

Turning  to  the  East  N.  E.  .  &  S  &  S,  W.  lay  the  wally  of  the 
wilhamet  skirted  with  irregular  Stripes  of  green  Prarie  lately  burned  off 
white  not  burned  Brown  oak  timber  yallow  cotton  wood  the  leaf 
not  yet  shed  &  deep  grien  the  Firr  an  evergreen  all  handsomely 
Blended  and  extending  Beyond  vision  near  the  cascade  mountains  whare 
a  Blue  Streak  of  Fog  lay  impenetrable  to  the  sight 

115  John  and  James  Manning  came  in  1843. 


11  Morning  thick  with  light  Shower  of  rain  greate  Quantities 
of  wild  geese  seen  flying  &  feeding  on  the  young  grass  of  the  lately 
Burned  Praries  which  are  Quite  tame  &  easily  approached  on  horse 
back       Light  showers  of  rain  fell  during  the  day 

12  Still  continues  showery  The  restless  waves  of  the  Pacciffic 
ware  distinctly  heard  at  early  daylight  distan[ce]  I  could  not 
assertain       In  the  afternoon  Several  rapid  Showers  of  rain  fell 

13  Continued  Showers 

14  A  strong  south  wind  blew  all  night  with  rapid  shower  of  rain 
continued  to  rain  but  slaked  off  in  the  Evening 

15  The  fog  hung  aroud  the  Hills  until  about  noon  when  it  arose 
and  the  sun  broke  through  the  mist  I  again  walked  over  the  green  hills 
which  ware  here  and  their  dotted  with  cattle  and  horses  feeding  on  the 
yoimg  grass  now  about  three  inches  high  and  thick  and  as  thrifty  as 
the  summer  groth  of  the  western  Praries  Likewise  greate  Quantites 
of  water  fowl  seen  on  the  low  ground  such  as  geese  duck  Brants  and 
Cranes  makeing  fine  amusement  for  the  Sportsman 

The  grass  does  not  coat  as  thick  no[r]  as  deep  on  the  earth  as  in 
the  western  Praries  but  on  the  contrary  turns  up  fine  and  loose  after 
the  Plow  it  is  Likewise  loose  and  soft  to  walk  over  and  greately 
worked  up  by  moles  and  mice  and  in  many  place  by  Burrowing  squirrels 
which  are  now  laid  up  being  an  animal  that  lies  torped  through  the 
winter  none  are  now  seen  although  their  has  scarcely  been  frost 
enough  to  kill  the  tenderest  vegitable  The  alder  begining  to  shed 
the  leaf 

16  It  rained  moderately  all  night  and  continued  throughout  the 

1 7  Sunday  Lowry  in  the  morning  greate  numbers  of  Snipe  seen 
on  the  marshes       Continued  Showers  of  Rain  all  day 

18  A  strong  south  wind  blew  all  night  with  rapid  showers  of  rain 
which  continued  at  interavails  all  through  the  day  the  water  Fowle 
continue  to  come  in  in  great  abundanc  Scarcely  a  day  has  passed 
since  the  rainy  season  commenced  that  the  Rain  Bow  has  not  been  seen 
&  some  days  have  given  us  a  shew  of  Ten  or  Twelve  in  the  course  of  a 
day  and  at  times  Three  or  Four  in  one  hours  time  large  and  Beautifully 
curved  and  coulored 

19  As  usual  it  continued  to  Rain  at  intervals  through  the  night 
the  wind  however  veered  to  the  west 

20  The  night  Passed  off  without  rain  the  morning  a  thick 
[mist]  covered  the  vally  with  Fog  about  noon  It  commenced  raining 
moderately  and  continued  to  rain  the  rest  of  the  day 

21  The  Bats  seen  flitting  about  seeking  their  food  every  evening 

DIARY,  DECEMBER,  1844  119 

The  wind  from  the  South      it  rained  all  the  latter  part  of  the  night 
Scattering  portions  of  our  Emigration  comeing  in  through  the  rain  mud 
and  water  completely  prostrated  and  tired  out 

22  It  still  continues  to  Rain 

23  Still  continues  to  Rain  but  more  moderately  than  the  two 
preceding  days  in  the  evening  the  wind  veered  to  the  west  and  it 
ceasd  raining 

24  Sunday  Thick  and  cloudy  without  rain  the  cranes  leav- 
ing for  the  South  rode  out  five  of  six  miles  throug  the  vally  of  the 
yam  Hill  river  in  many  places  the  young  grass  was  waveing  in  the 
wind       thew  hole  country  clothed  in  young  green  grass 

25  A  strong  south  wind  with  thick  mist  desending  at  intervals 
from  the  southern  mountains 

26  As  usual  a  strong  south  wind  with  rain 

27  The  south  wind  with  its  regular  attendant  rain  still  continues 
the  waters  much  swollen  and  all  the  Lowlands  overflown  and  covered 
with  water  Fowl  fine  for  the  sportsman  I  had  been  led  to  believe 
from  previous  information  that  the  winter  rains  had  not  yet  commenced 
on  the  21  of  October  But  all  the  old  residents  ware  mistaken  for  once 

28  A  Bostirous  stormy  night       the  wind  shifting  to  westward 
Blew  a  perfect  Hericane  nearly  all  night  with  rapid  showas  of  rain 
This  morning  however  the  sun  shewed  his  countanance  mild  and  pleas- 
ant after  his  long  absence       a  few  light  showers  of  rain  fell  during  the 

29  The  sun  shone  nearly  all  day  and  the  green  hills  shewed  to 
greate  advantage  A  light  white  frost  this  morning  all  the  streams 
swollen  out  of  their  banks  Lots  of  Cranes  seen  to  day  moveing  south- 
ward This  country  has  to  me  a  strange  but  not  unpleasant  appear- 
ance for  the  season  the  grass  nearly  as  forward  as  June  in  Illinois 
and  waveing  in  the  wind  dotted  with  cattle  and  horses  feeding  on  the 
young  grass  the  mountains  to  the  E  however  in  many  places  are 
white  with  recently  fallen  snow  the  alders  and  other  timber  that  shed 
the  leaf  are  now  nearly  bare 

30  Cloudy  but  not  foggy  as  usual  Mount  Hood  and  some  other 
snowy  peaks  shewed  themselves  at  early  Light  but  ware  soon  Shrouded 
again  in  fleecy  clouds  the  wind  from  the  south  with  its  constant 
attendant  rain  in  the  afternoon 

1844  Sunday  Dec.  the  1  It  continued  to  rain  in  showers 
through  the  night  a  thick  rainy  morning  wind  S.  it  continued  to 
rain  through  out  the  day  in  Showers  the  hills  slipery  and  the  vallies 
muddy       our  Emigration  getting  in  nearly  drownd  and  suffecated  in 


mud       this  season  said  to  be  the  most  rainy  of  any  yet  seen  by  the 
present  inhabitants 

2  Several  showers  of  rain  fell  during  the  night  and  the  morning 
thick  and  cloudy       the  sun  broke  through  the  clouds  in  the  forenoon 
slight  Showers  with  numerous  rain  Bows  during  the  day  full  and  Beauti- 
fully couloured       this  is  certainly  Extraordinary  weather  for  Latitude 
Forty  six  and  seven 

3  Continued  showers  of  rain 

4  Same  I  noticed  that  Horses  and  cattle  do  not  appear  as  gentle 
as  in  the  states  owning  no  doubt  to  the  want  of  being  handled  suffii- 
ciantly  but  animals  have  the  inclination  to  go  wild  in  a  climate  whare 
there  is  no  winter  and  are  not  dependant  on  their  owners  for  forage  but 
seek  their  own  living  at  all  times  &  all  seasons 

5  It  did  not  rain  last  night  and  the  morning  was  clear  the 
Cascade  mountains  shewed  off  Handsomely  in  their  white  and  green 
drapery  it  remained  clear  all  day  but  so  moist  is  the  Earth  and  atmos- 
phere that  the  dew  did  not  dry  off  of  the  green  grass  even  on  the 
Hills  The  water  in  the  river  falling  and  the  low  grounds  begin  to 
shew  themselves  greate  Quantities  of  water  Fowl  still  seen  on  the 

6  a  rainy  Morning  Caught  what  is  here  called  a  gopher  or 
Camace  rat  [Thomomys]  a  Burrowing  animal  living  underground  much 
like  a  mole.  This  animal  measures  14  linches  in  length  exclusive 
of  the  tail  which  is  5  inches  long  round  and  without  hair  coulour  a 
pale  purple  or  mouse  colour  except  the  feet  which  are  white  and  deli- 
cately made  The  Body  heavy  strong  built  mouse  eared  eye 
small  and  black  hair  fine  like  a  mole  head  large  and  strong  2 
Large  strong  teeth  projecting  far  forward  from  both  the  upper  and  under 
Jaws  the  skin  of  the  head  loose  and  capable  of  moving  forward  and 
forming  an  extensive  pouch  around  the  front  teeth  the  hole  to  the 
mouth  small  and  the  mouth  itself  small  and  far  back  into  the  throat 
whare  are  a  set  of  fine  teeth  five  to  each  side  20  in  all 

This  animal  makes  its  living  on  roots  and  is  rarely  seen  above 
ground  excpt  when  driven  out  by  high  wates 

7  Light  showers  of  Rain  wind  South  as  usual  when  wee  are  sure 
of  rain      More  or  less  numerous  rain  Bows  seen  to  day 


8  Morning  fair  with  as  light  white  frost  and  extremely  heavy  dew 
which  hangs  in  large  drops  even  on  dry  shrubery 

9  Several  Showers  of  rain  fell  during  the  night  and  a  thick  foggy 
morning  fleecy  clouds  of  fog  asending  and  Decending  all  through  the 

DIARY,  DECEMBER,  1844  121 

10  Bosterous  windy  rainy  night  But  a  fair  day 

11  A  Rainy  night  which  continued  thouout  the  day  Considir- 
able  injury  was  done  by  the  late  Freshet  heard  of  1000  or  Twelv 
Hundred  bushel  of  wheat  being  lost  in  the  graneries  on  the  low  grounds 
of  the  Wilhamet  Likewise  large  lots  of  fencing  &  in  some  instances 
hogs  and  other  stock  being  drowned  or  carried  away  by  the  water 

12  A  light  white  frost  this  morning  and  a  pleasant  fair  day  verry 
still  the  waves  of  the  paciffic  heard  distinctly  most  of  our  emigra- 
tion arived  at  Fort  Vancouvre 

13  A  thick  Fog  rests  on  the  Earth  this  morning  which  continued 
all  day  But  no  rain  fell  The  high  water  is  still  abating  slowly  in  the 

14  Foggy  and  a  thick  mist  rests  on  the  face  of  the  waters  which 
are  under  the  Firmament  of  Heaven  continued  thick  and  fogy  all 
day  But  did  not  rain  still  without  a  breeze  to  tell  the  course  of  the 

15  The  Sun  again  Broke  through  the  thick  mist  and  removed  a 
slight  white  frost  which  shewed  itself  this  morning  the  fog  however 
soon  returned  and  continued  floating  around  the  remainder  of  the  day 

16  Thick  and  Foggy  with  a  strong  appearance  of  rain 

17  It  rained  some  through  the  night  But  most  of  the  day  was 
pleasant  several  light  shower  fell  in  the  afternoon  and  shewed  several 
Beautifull  rain  Bows 

18  Rained  nearly  all  days  moderately  untill  evening  when  it 
slaked  up  for  the  present 

19  A  Rainy  night  and  a  Rainy  day  likewise  windS. 

20  The  wind  blew  a  gale  from  the  S.  W.  all  night  and  there  is  a 
slight  appearance  of  clear  weather  this  morning  about  11  oclock  the 
fog  disperced  and  the  sun  broke  out  fine  and  clear  Noticed  young 
thistles  strawberries  and  a  thick  groth  of  other  vegitables  beginning  to 
start  the  grass  dose  not  rise  up  but  spread  [s]  itself  over  the  sur- 
vace  of  the  ground  much  like  winter  grains  in  the  states 

21  A  fine  clear  morning  Black  birds  Snipes  and  other  marsh 
Birds  in  greate  numbers  on  the  low  lands  this  day  was  clear  and  fine 
throughout  and  remarkably  pleasant 

22  Thick  and  Foggy  and  the  afternoon  rainy 

23  some  light  showers  of  rain  fell  during  the  night  morning 
dark  and  cloudy      Evening  rainy 

24  It  rained  nearly  all  night  at  early  light  we  saw  all  the 
higher  hills  covered  in  snow  but  none  in  the  vallies  the  most  of  the  snow 
melted  off  during  the  day  which  was  fair  but  not  cleare 

25  A  Blustering  windy  rainy  night  succeded  our  Christmas  and 


the  morning  was  of  the  same  meterial  rain  hail  and  snow  with  the  usual 
accompaniment  a  strong  South  west  wind  the  hills  whitened  again 
with  snow  Continued  showers  of  rain  and  hail  and  snow  throughout 
the  day  which  melted  and  disappeared  as  fast  as  it  fell 

26  A  strong  south  wind  all  night  all  the  new  fallen  sno  has 
again  disappearered 

27  Considerable  rain  fell  last  night  this  morning  however  the 
clouds  arose  and  gave  us  a  view  of  mountains  again  which  shew  some 
of  the  recently  fallen  snow 

Cloudy  wind  South  and  Quite  warm  both  day  and  night 

28  Night  Rainy  and  warm  Bats  seen  flitting  about  the  house 
seeking  their  food       continued  to  rain  in  rapid  showers  most  of  the  day 

29  Remains  Cloudy  with  rapid  showers  wind  south  with  an  occa- 
sional shift  to  s.  W. 

30  No  alteration  but  still  continues  to  rain  rapidly  in  showers 
wind  South 

31  Continued  the  same 
1845     January  the  P* 

At  Early  day  light  it  was  Raining  but  slaked  up  at  noon  the  wind 
veering  to  the  west      the  afternoon  was  pleasant 

2  no  rain  fell  during  the  night  the  morning  overcast  but  pleas- 
ant the  day  passed  off  without  Either  wind  or  rain  and  the  Lowing  of 
cattle  and  the  song  of  several  birds  sounded  not  unlike  spring 

3  A  Fair  morning  and  Quite  warm  and  pleasant  if  it  was  not 
for  the  water  that  almost  covers  the  Low  grounds  wind  southe  I 
noticed  my  fine  american  mare  this  morning  which  was  bearly  able  to 
walk  on  my  arival  here  in  October  and  is  now  in  good  work  order  with- 
out a  particle  of  grain       the  evening  colsed  without  rain 

4  Cloudy      wind  South       afternoon  rainy 

5  Sunday  a  rainy  night  and  the  morning  ditto  the  rain 
slacked  up  in  the  afternoon 

6  Morning  fair  which  proved  fair  throughout  the  day  and  pleasant 
for  Oregon  in  January 

7  Overcast  and  cloudy 

8  Morning  Clear  with  a  stiff  white  frost  remained  clear  through- 
out the  day 

9  Foggy  without  rain  helped  to  raise  a  cabbin  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood the  sun  shone  in  the  evening  the  melting  off  of  the 
mountains  occasioning  a  freshet  in  the  river  the  old  settlers  say  that 
this  is  the  wettest  winter  they  have  yet  seen  some  haveing  been  in 
country  for  8  and  10  years 

10  Fogy  without  rain       the  Earth  becomming  more  firm  as  the 


water  leaves  it      the  day  closed  without  rain 

1 1  verry  much  the  same  as  yestarday      wind  South 

12  Clear  and  BeautifuU 

[The  following  account  is  written  in  a  different  ink  in  a  portion  of  another  note-book,  sewn  by 
hand  into  Book  4  of  the  diaries.] 

[The  Oregon  Trail] 

In  passing  thrugh  this  country  on  the  usual  rout  no  Land  is  seen 
that  will  bear  cultivation  after  pass[ing]  the  main  divideing  ridge 
seperating  the  waters  of  the  atlantick  and  the  Pacific  untill  you  arive  on 
Bear  River  whare  some  small  vallies  of  appearantly  cultivateable  land 
are  found  But  here  the  winters  are  cold  and  occasionally  deep  snows 
fall  Timber  is  also  inconvenient  none  being  found  Except  in  higher 
and  more  ruged  parts  of  the  mountains  there  occasional  spots  of  good 
timber  occurs  of  Pine  Firr  &  Cedar  on  the  lower  Hills.  However  con- 
siderable stocks  of  cattle  might  be  kept  on  the  vallies  of  Bear  River  and 
weebers  river  on  the  lower  vallies  near  the  greate  salt  Lake  and  a  resting 
place  might  here  be  made  that  would  verry  much  assist  Emigrants  and 
others  passing  to  and  from  the  states  to  all  parts  of  the  Pacific  Country 
the  rout  to  California  would  seperate  from  the  rout  to  Oregon  at  this 
settlment  allso — Aand  here  should  be  a  military  post  Established  and 
Perhaps  [this]  is  the  cheapest  Place  to  support  a  Military  Post  on  the 
Present  rout  if  the  head  of  the  Lake  dose  not  fall  in  to  the  Mexican 
Teritory  A  Low  range  of  mountains  divides  Bear  River  from  Snake 

Snake  River  Issues  from  the  Mountains  80  or  100  miles  above  Fort 
Hall  and  soon  passes  out  in  to  a  wide  vally  being  in  many  places 
from  40  to  60  miles  wide  mostly  a  dry  arid  sand  plane  covered  with  a 
Strong  groth  of  wild  Sage  and  prickly  pears  the  lower  vally  How- 
ever is  well  clothed  with  grass  espicially  on  the  moist  ground  and  near 
the  water  [is]  a  thick  groth  of  small  willows  with  an  occasional  grove  of 
Cottonwood  The  Hudson  bay  co.  who  occupy  Fort  Hall  keep  a  large 
Herd  of  cattl  in  this  vally  which  do  well  and  Furnish  the  fort  with  the 
fines  of  Beeff  in  the  fall  season  These  cattle  as  Likewise  a  large  herd 
of  horses  live  well  through  the  winter  without  any  food  except  what  they 
obtain  by  their  own  industry  on  the  Praries  In  the  head  or  Eastern 
part  of  this  vally  stands  the  three  Tetaws  which  are  verry  high  steep 
conicle  Mountains  (the)  appeareantly  rising  out  of  an  undulated  plain 
and  so  high  that  their  summits  are  covered  with  Eternal  snow  and  frost 
and  may  be  seen  from  a  great  distanc  from  the  S.  W.  and  west  The 
three  butes  Likewise  stand  in  this  vally  nearly  opposite  or  North  of  Fort 
Hall  and  are  rounded  Detached  conicle  Hills  Likewise  But  of  no  greate 


hight  and  are  formed  of  roundeded  water  worn  rock  Clay  Pumice  stone 
and  obesian  [obsidian]  the  latter  resembling  Black  glass  which  is  here 
found  in  greate  abundance  and  has  formerly  been  the  place  whar  the 
Natives  manufactured  great  Quantities  of  arrow  points  and  other  in- 
strument of  ofence  and  defense  the  fragments  of  which  Lay  thickly 
strewn  over  the  surrounding  plain  continueing  down  West  from  the 
Buetes  you  come  to  the  most  recent  appearance  of  an  active  volcano 
that  is  to  be  seen  in  this  volcanic  region  here  all  the  rocks  have  been 
in  a  state  of  complete  fusion  and  at  so  late  a  period  that  not  a  particle 
of  vegitation  has  commenced  to  grow  the  Craters  appear  different 
from  any  that  I  have  seen  on  Record  these  being  holes  in  the  vally 
all  others  seem  to  have  arisen  above  the  surrounding  country  the 
Scorie  of  these  holes  or  creaters  seem  to  have  been  almost  intirely  com- 
posed of  compact  granite  and  several  of  the  holes  are  some  hundreds  of 
feet  deep  mostly  of  a  circular  form  the  edges  tops  sides  and  Bottoms 
formed  of  a  raged  Black  slag  and  give  a  keen  sonorous  sound  when 
struck  togather      the  slag  in  many  instances  being  Quite  porus 

The  extent  or  number  of  these  holes  I  cannot  tell  to  any  certainty 
but  I  should  think  they  extended  some  15  or  20  miles  in  Length  in  a 
N.  E.  and  S.  W.  direction  and  from  6  to  8  miles  cross  wise  none  of 
which  tract  can  be  passed  ove[r]  with  the  utmost  caution  by  a  man  on 
foot  on  account  of  the  loose  and  raged  form  of  the  slag  and  the  num- 
erous rents  holes  pits  and  chasms  which  intersep*  you  in  all  directions 
In  passing  over  this  slag  all  the  small  fragmint  that  become  detached 
drop  immediately  down  and  go  gingling  amongst  the  opposing  rocks 
below  sometimes  to  an  immence  depth  before  they  find  a  resting  place 
in  fact  I  broke  loose  some  pieces  and  thew  them  into  the  fisures  which 
continued  to  strike  and  rebound  untill  they  went  intirely  out  of  heare- 
ing  near  the  western  side  of  this  field  of  Slag  rises  a  ruged  steep  and 
high  mountain  composed  of  a  rough  greyish  granite  nearly  Bear  of 
vegitation  and  in  many  Places  the  field  of  Slag  and  the  mountain 
approach  so  near  that  it  was  with  great  difficulty  that  our  pack  Horses 
could  find  sufficient  room  to  pass  and  near  this  western  side  I  ob- 
served a  greate  many  large  masses  of  this  granite  rock  s[t]anding  in  all 
inclinations  between  perpendicular  and  Horizontal  and  had  the  appear- 
ance of  having  been  affloat  in  the  liquid  mass  the  more  weighty  parts 
having  sunk  and  shot  up  the  ligh[t]er  end  and  the  Slag  cooling  left  the 
rocks  as  they  are  now  seen  standing  the  heat  not  being  Quite  entence 
enough  to  melt  the  whole  mass  on  the  under  side  of  these  masses 
However  the  liquidated  slag  is  left  hanging  in  greate  Quantities  of 
rounded  globules  Just  in  the  form  that  they  cooled  some  nearly  Ready 


to  drop  off  numerous  brooks  and  springs  fall  from  the  mountains 
in  the  slag  and  are  immediately  lost  in  the  loose  Slag  and  most  prob- 
aby  find  their  way  into  snake  river  some  60  or  80  miles  S.  W.  whare  a 
number  of  spings  break  out  of  the  most  magnificent  kind  and  of  the 
largest  dimentions  in  beautifull  gushes  and  columns  of  snow  white 
spray  some  of  these  fountains  throw  several  tuns  of  water  per  minuit 
cool  &  pure  as  crystal  on  the  whole  This  valy  presents  many  large  and 
Spendid  attractions  for  the  Geologist  as  well  as  the  almost  unfathom- 
able depth  of  the  Kenyon  that  this  river  fall[s]  into  immediately  below 
and  which  falls  and  cascades  commence  at  the  American  Falls  at  the 
Lower  end  of  the  vally  From  the  american  Falls  to  Fort  Boisie  a 
distance  of  300  miles  you  pass  over  a  dry  dusty  and  in  some  places 
sandy  as  likewise  in  many  places  Rocky  country  bearing  but  little  grass 
or  Timber  wild  sage  Prarie  thorn  &c  making  the  general  vegitation 
Travelers  usually  pass  through  this  region  as  fast  as  they  conveniently 
can  there  being  no  game  no  grass  of  consequence  Except  salmon  in  their 
proper  season  when  Quantities  are  taken  and  can  be  had  of  the  Indians 
for  a  mere  trifle  while  Fresh 

Fort  Boise  stands  on  the  North  Bank  of  Snake  River  a  few  miles 
below  the  mouth  of  the  Boise  River  the  great  Woile  [Owyhee  River] 
Falling  in  on  the  oposite  side  a  short  distance  above  allso  the  sur- 
rounding country  dry  and  parched  grass  and  Timber  being  verry  scarce 
in  the  vicinity  of  the  Fort  and  no  cultivatiable  land  seen  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood cnsiderable  stocks  of  cattle  and  Horses  find  good  grazing 
in  the  vicinity  as  I  noticied  the  cattl  in  particular  ware  fine  and  fat 
several  Butes  of  considerable  hight  rais  their  dark  looking  simimits  to 
the  south  W.  of  the  fort  and  a  range  of  bear  moutains  of  considerable 
length  and  hight  are  seen  to  the  S.  and  S.W.  dividing  the  waters  nmning 
into  snake  river  and  those  runing  into  ogdens  Lake  and  other  parts  of 
the  vally  of  the  greate  salt  Lake  these  mountains  no  doubt  are  con- 
nected withe  the  Blue  mountains  some  distance  to  the  west 

some  50  or  60  miles  below  Boise  snake  River  takes  into  the  Blue 
mountains  in  these  mountains  is  whare  M*"  Hunt  M*=Kenzie  and  their 
party  suffered  so  much  as  related  by  M*"  Ervine  [Irving]  in  his  Astoria 
Nothing  is  seen  in  the  shape  or  appearance  of  cultivatiable  Land  on  the 
present  rout  For  nearly  200  miles  west  of  Boise  when  you  arive  near 
the  (the)  head  of  Powder  River  a  small  stream  running  East  ward  into 
snake  River  and  in  full  view  of  the  Blue  mountains  you  come  to  several 
small  valies  of  fair  soil  and  good  grazing  but  no  timber  of  use  Except 
on  the  mountains.  I  do  not  think  However  that  their  is  any  Extent  of 
arable  land  to  be  found  here      Two  short  camps  brings  you  into  the 


grand  round  vally  a  Beautifull  green  spot  in  this  region  of  interminable 
rocks  dust  and  wild  sage  you  are  now  fairly  entered  into  the  Blue 
mountains  which  Surround  this  vally  on  all  sides  the  vally  itself  is 
nearly  round  and  16  or  18  miles  across  in  either  direction  and  has  no 
doubt  once  been  covered  in  water  numerous  small  streams  falling 
from  the  hills  in  all  drictions  and  winding  through  the  low  grounds  form 
a  small  River  which  has  worn  its  way  through  the  opposing  rocks  to  a 
greate  depth  and  takes  a  Northern  course  to  the  Columbia  as  I  am  in- 
formed The  winters  are  here  Quite  mild  and  the  grass  coming  up  in 
novembr  remains  green  through  the  winter  The  Blue  mountains  are 
appearantly  not  verry  high  But  the  Ravines  are  steep  and  Rocky  and 
generally  covered  tops  and  sides  with  a  thick  groth  of  Pine  and  other 
Eevergreen  timber  and  Something  the  rise  of  40  [more  than  40  miles] 
across  on  the  wagon  trail  which  is  a  rough  bad  road  for  teams  and  scarce 
of  both  grass  and  water 

The  asent  of  these  mountains  on  the  western  side  is  generally  bear 
of  Timber  but  thickly  set  with  a  nutricious  kind  of  Bunch  grass  the 
utilla  river  running  for  some  distance  nearly  paralell  with  the  moun- 
tains on  this  stream  (which  in  low  water  is  a  fine  mill  stream)  is  seen 
a  narrow  vally  of  good  cultivateable  soil  bringing  corn  wheat  &  vegi- 
tables  in  good  perfection  The  Skuse  Indians  cultivate  some  small 
spots  which  poduce  well  the  usual  rout  passes  down  the  utilla  river 
to  the  Columbia  it  is  generally  Believed  that  a  greate  number  of 
small  valies  lie  stiuated  near  the  mountains  on  the  South  side  of  the 
(of  the)  Columbia  but  I  saw  no  white  man  that  had  ever  visited  that 
region  but  I  have  no  doubt  of  the  correctness  of  this  report  Along 
and  near  the  Columbia  River  nothing  can  look  more  discourageing  the 
river  running  in  a  deep  chasm  of  nearly  pependicular  rocks  Black  and 
frowning  with  a  scanty  supply  of  grass  and  not  a  stick  of  timbr  to 
relieve  the  continual  monotony  of  Frowning  rock  or  water  with  now 
and  then  a  Field  or  mountain  of  sand  to  pass  through  Now  having 
arived  at  the  Delles  whare  you  may  rest  a  day  or  two  with  M*"  Waller 
who  is  superintendent  of  the  Methodist  Mission  at  this  place  and  is  an 
accomodating  man  if  he  can  be  well  paid  but  if  you  are  scarce  of 
funds  you  may  hire  an  Indian  to  guide  you  over  the  cascade  mountains 
or  as  we  did  guide  yourself  These  mountains  are  70  or  80  miles  acoss 
by  the  way  of  the  Trail  verry  thickly  timber '^.  and  Extremely  steep 
rocky  and  rough  The  Columbia  on  its  entrance  into  the  moimtains 
passes  through  a  verry  dangerous  rapid  called  the  delles  whare  the  river 
is  nearly  choked  by  large  masses  of  sunken  rock  which  raise  their  black 
heads  in  the  utmost  confusion  forming  Tremendious  whirlpools  and  are 


nearly  impassable  in  low  water  and  in  fact  at  all  tmes  some  50  or 
60  miles  below  is  the  greate  falls  which  are  at  all  times  impassable  and 
whare  a  portage  or  two  has  to  be  made  by  all  the  watercraft  passing  the 
river  this  last  fall  occurrs  80  or  100  miles  above  vacouver  from 
this  fall  the  river  is  clear  of  obstructions  to  its  mouth  for  small  craft  and 
its  navigation  would  be  good  for  stiam  boats  Likewise  But  no  cul- 
tivateable  land  of  any  consequence  is  seen  untill  you  arive  in  the  vicinity 
of  Fort  Vancouver  whare  the  mountains  recede  and  the  coves  and  vallies 
begin  to  open  out  all  the  Best  Prairies  however  are  occupied  by  the 
H.  B.  C**.  who  carry  on  farming  on  a  Large  scale  in  the  viceinity  of  the 
fort  and  in  fact  continue  to  extend  their  agracultural  persuits  as  the 
Furr  and  peltries  decrease  The  cascade  mountains  are  one  of  the 
greate  chain  of  mountains  which  strech  themselves  through  nearly  the 
whole  length  of  North  america  commencing  near  the  gulf  of  calli- 
fomi  they  keep  a  northern  directon  Divideing  the  Californian  vally 
from  the  vally  of  the  greate  salt  lake  a  chane  however  diverges  from 
this  chane  some  whare  in  Lower  California  and  taking  an  Eastern 
direction  bounds  are  greate  salt  Lake  vally  on  the  south  and  dividing 
that  from  the  vally  of  Rio  colerado  and  continueing  East  and  N.E.  by 
the  head  of  green  &  Bear  rivers  it  unites  with  the  greate  dividing  ridge 
near  the  head  of  snake  River 

The  Blue  mountain  chane  seperates  itself  from  the  Cascades  near 
the  head  of  the  clamet  and  umqua  rivers  and  perhaps  for  some  distance 
Bound  [s]  the  vally  of  salt  or  the  greate  salt  Lake  vally  on  the  north  to 
near  the  head  of  the  Willhamet  and  river  de  Shutes  whare  the  Blue 
Moimtain  chain  inclines  to  N.  and  an  other  chain  branches  off  to  the 
East  deviding  the  Greate  salt  vally  from  snake  River  and  continueing  E. 
and  N  unites  with  the  last  mentioned  chain  near  the  head  of  snake 
River  also  The  Blue  chain  continueing  allmost  to  the  Columbia  then 
Turning  short  to  the  east  snake  river  bursting  through  this  chain  in 
the  curve  fall[s]  into  the  Columbia  the  mountains  continueing  their 
eastern  Direction  dividing  the  waters  of  snake  and  Salmon  Rivers 
unite  (s)  with  the  main  chain  also  near  the  heads  of  the  Southern 
Branches  of  the  Missouri  and  North  of  snake  River  to  These  may 
be  added  a  low  chain  of  mountains  linding  on  and  near  the  coast  of 
the  pacific  Broken  through  however  by  the  Columbia  near  the  umpquaw 
the  clamet  and  several  other  rivers 

Having  never  traversed  any  portion  of  the  country  north  of  the 
Columbia  I  will  not  attempt  to  give  any  discription  of  the  mountains 
of  that  part  of  the  country 

The  vallies  are  said  by  some  to  be  good  &  are  represented  as  being 


quite  large  and  finely  clothed  with  grass  at  one  of  the  H.  B.  Cos. 
Estalishments  I  am  informed  that  Thirty  thousand  sheep  are  kept  and 
in  fact  a  greate  number  of  Sheep  and  cattle  are  kept  at  all  Their  Trading 
posts  north  of  The  Columbia  and  more  paticularly  on  Peugetts  Sound 
these  sheep  are  of  the  spannish  breed  they  yield  a  large  fleece  of  coars 
wooll  which  is  sent  yearly  to  England  and  there  manufactured  into 
Blankets  and  other  coarse  clothes  for  the  supply  of  their  numerous 
Trading  Establishments  in  all  parts  of  their  extensive  trade  to  the 
north  The  H.B.^°-  Likewise  keep  a  steam  Boat  running  in  Peugetts 
sound  to  facilatate  their  (their)  trad  amongst  the  numerous  bays  and 
Isleands  on  that  coast  and  carry  on  a  profitable  trade  with  their 
Neighbours  the  Russians  on  Both  continents 

The  Navigation  of  the  Columbia  is  not  verry  good  and  more 
particular  neare  the  head  of  the  Bay  whare  the  channel  is  narrow 
crooked  and  interupted  by  Bars  &  sand  banks 

[A  blank  page] 

[Geography,  Products  and  Government  of  Oregon] 
I  now  come  to  speak  of  the  Willhamet  vally  in  and  near  the 
mouth  of  this  River  are  several  Large  Islands  thise  Islands  are  good 
soil  and  fine  grazing  but  mostly  overflow  in  the  winter  and  spring 
freshets  as  Likewise  do  all  the  point  of  land  forming  the  Junction 
a  fine  situation  is  found  however  immediately  below  the  lower  mouth 
of  the  Willhamet  good  water  and  a  good  landing  but  this  place  is 
not  easily  approachable  by  land  and  is  far  from  any  considerable 
cultivateable  country  The  Killimook  mountains  approach  nearly  to 
the  water  on  the  west  or  right  hand  side  of  the  Willhamet  as  you  assend 
and  all  the  uplands  even  to  the  mountains  top  are  covered  with  a  mag- 
nificent and  lofty  groth  of  Firr  Timber  These  mountains  Extend  west 
to  the  coast  and  South  nearly  to  the  falls  a  distance  of  some  20  miles 
and  are  generally  verry  steep  rocky  and  rugged  the  Tuallata  River 
takes  its  rise  in  these  mountains  &  Running  S.E.  and  E.  falls  into  the 
Willhamet  2  miles  above  the  Falls  on  the  Branches  of  this  stream  & 
nearly  west  of  the  falls  lies  Quite  a  large  fine  Prairi  called  the  Twallata 
plains  this  beautifull  plain  contains  upwards  of  200  families  mostly 

This  Plain  is  a  kind  of  cove  or  vally  and  is  bounded  on  the  N. 
N.W.  and  west  By  the  Killimook  mountains  on  the  East  by  the  Tualla- 
tine  Hills  and  the  South  by  the  Jahalem  hills  the  last  mentioned  Hills 
are  generally  Beare  of  Timber  and  are  excelent  pasture  lands  passing 
South  on  the  west  of  the  Willhamet  Jahalem  or  Chehalem  vally  occurs 
this  vally  is  small  compared  to  The  Twalatine  but  contains  some  30  or 


40  Farms  continueing  south  over  a  steep  norrow  range  of  Bald  Hills 
an  hours  ride  brings  you  to  the  Yam  Hill  vally  or  country  and  From 
off  of  the  last  mentioned  you  have  no  mountain  or  Hill  to  intercept  the 
view  the  vally  extending  south  as  far  as  the  farthest  extent  of  vision 
the  Mountains  However  bind  you  on  the  East  and  west  that  is  the 
Cascades  with  their  snowy  peaks  on  East  and  the  Killimook  rang  on 
the  west  This  vally  is  here  not  short  of  Fifty  miles  wide  and  perhaps 
one  Hundred  and  Fifty  in  length  numerous  Brooks  and  rivulets 
meander  their  way  in  various  directions  through  the  vally  from  the 
neighbouring  mountains  on  either  side  of  the  Willhamet  and  when 
necessary  can  easily  be  converted  into  the  means  of  driveing  all  kinds 
mchineery  that  be  found  usefull  for  a  greate  manufactureing  com- 

I  will  now  take  a  glance  at  the  willhamet  vally  on  the  East  side 
of  the  river  after  passing  the  overflown  Lowlands  near  the  Junction 
of  the  Rivers  an  undulating  or  rather  hilly  Plain  occurs  covered  with 
Large  Firr  and  other  evergreen  Timber  interwoven  with  Hazel  Dwarf 
maple  and  other  underbrush  for  20  or  30  miles  that  is  to  the  Klackimus 
a  rapid  rocky  stream  about  60  yards  wide  taking  its  rise  from  the  snowy 
peaks  of  (of)  the  Cascades  on  this  stream  are  several  small  Prairies 
as  Likewise  a  fine  Salmon  fishery  whare  greate  Quantities  are  anually 
taken  at  the  Junction  of  this  stream  with  Willhamet  is  a  Bad  shallow 
rapid  Formed  by  the  Rapid  wash  of  the  Klackimus  as  Likewise  from 
the  deposits  thrown  from  the  Falls  of  the  willhamet  (which)  only  one 
mile  above  [which]  you  Find  the  Praries  untill  you  pass  The  Moleally 
rivir  a  Strong  Rapid  stream  draining  the  snowy  peaks  of  the  cascades 
Likwise  and  entering  willhamet  20  miles  above  or  South  of  the  Falls 
This  stream  [is]  60  or  80  yards  wide  and  scarcely  ever  fordable  But 
haveing  passed  this  streame  you  immediately  enter  on  the  praries  as 
Likewis  the  oldest  and  most  numerous  settlement  in  the  Teritory 
this  settlement  composed  of  mostly  French  and  civilized  Indians  is 
organized  into  a  county  called  Champooick  and  contains  the  catholick 
and  Methodist  Missionary  station  in  this  vally  of  which  I  shall  speak 
Hereafter  From  the  Moleally  the  Praries  Extend  south  perhaps  200 
miles  to  the  Kalapooya  mountains  this  range  which  I  shall  speak  of 
again  divides  the  Willhamet  vally  from  the  Umpqua  vally  From  the 
commencement  of  the  Praries  the  Settlment  Extends  to  the  Santaam 
one  of  the  principle  Tributaries  of  the  willhamet  a  distance  of  some  50 

South  of  the  Santaam  the  vally  becomes  verry  Extensive  and 
may  be  near  100  miles  wide  E.  &  W. 


I  now  may  speak  of  the  government  which  is  provisional  and  has  only- 
Existed  for  the  year  past  The  Executive  has  consisted  of  three 
persons  one  Elected  as  president  the  other  two  as  assistants  with  a 
Ligislature  consisting  of  nine  members  all  Elected  to  serve  for  one  year 
only  and  untill  others  are  Elected  and  Qualified  The  Judiciary 
[consists]  of  one  Judge  and  one  shirriff  who  officiate  throughout  all  the 
organized  counties  which  amount  to  Five  namely  Clatsop  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Columbia  Klackimus  From  the  mouth  of  the  willhamet  to  the 
Moleally  on  the  E.  side  of  the  willhamet  Twalata  on  the  west  side  of 
the  Willhamet  shampooik  on  the  E,  and  yamhill  on  the  west  no  organi- 
zation haveing  taken  place  north  of  the  Columbia  The  present  Laws 
However  make  a  considerable  change  making  but  [one]  govornor  or 
Executive  head  with  an  increas  in  the  Legislative  Body  of  six  members 
and  a  provision  for  a  Militia  organization 

The  Laws  of  Iowa  have  been  adopted  and  a  number  of  acts  or 
Laws  passed  by  the  provisional  Legislature  of  Oregon  The  claim 
Laws  allow  every  man  640  acres  the  claiman  must  build  a  cabbin  on 
his  claim  within  two  months  after  his  haveing  taken  possession  and 
must  be  a  resident  by  himself  or  by  a  Tenant  his  claim  must  be 
square  or  oblong  the  [lines]  running  North  and  South  and  East  and 
West  if  the  nature  of  the  country  permit  By  a  Ressolotion  of  the 
Legislature  last  winter  the  provisional  government  is  Extended  over  all 
the  country  East  whose  waters  flow  into  the  Pacific  North  to  Latitude 
54.^'*  or  the  line  agreed  upon  Between  The  United  states  and  the 
Russian  governments  and  South  of  Lattitude  42  or  the  line  agreed  upon 
between  the  United  states  and  the  Mexican  governments  Some 
alterations  However  will  take  Effect  this  season  the  Legislature  will 
consist  of  15  members  and  one  governor  in  place  of  the  former  council 
of  three  The  other  officers  cosist  of  one  clerk  of  the  court  and  one 
Treasurer  Elected  For  one  year  Likewis  and  one  Assessor  the  shirriff 
being  Collector  and  here  let  me  remark  that  The  Hudson  Bay  com- 
pany (have)  whare  their  Intrest  or  Establishments  have  fallen  into  any 
of  the  organized  counties  have  entred  heartily  into  the  organization 
themselves  with  all  their  influence  amongst  the  French  and  Half  Breeds 
and  (and)  their  influence  and  Example  has  had  a  remarkable  good  effct 
and  has  assisted  much  to  the  Establment  of  the  present  Provisional 
government  such  as  it  is 

The  commerce  of  the  country  has  been  so  far  carried  on  mostly 
by  the  H.  Bay  Company  and  previous  to  the  arival  of  the  american 
Emigration  of  1843  the  country  appears  to  have  been  well  supplied  with 
all   the  merchandize  necesary   for  the  population         But  since   the 


arival  of  the  last  American  emigration  goods  have  become  scarce  and 
the  price  nearly  doubled 

the  closing  of  the  Methodist  missionary  Establishment  has  like- 
wise withdrawn  a  small  but  active  capital  from  the  trade  of  the  country 
and  at  present  I  see  no  immediate  prspects  of  the  Establishment  of 
capital  in  the  country  The  Exports  of  the  country  consist  mostly  of 
wheat  and  Flour  carried  to  the  Paciffic  Islands  and  the  Russian  settle- 
ment on  this  contiment  this  with  fish  and  lumber  taken  to  the 
pacific  Island  constitute  the  present  commerce  of  the  country  with  the 
white  inhabitants  the  Indian  trade  in  Furrs  and  peltres  is  ex- 
clusively carried  on  by  the  H.  B.  C.  The  present  cultivation  of  the 
country  is  confined  to  the  raising  of  wheat  and  peas  both  of  which  grow 
to  greater  perfection  here  than  any  place  I  have  heretofore  seen  and 
considerable  Quantities  of  wheat  is  yearly  wasted  after  furnishing  all 
that  is  required  for  the  Limited  commerce  of  the  country  and  for 
fatting  pork  for  home  consumtion  in  fact  all  the  domastic  stock  that 
is  fed  at  all  is  fed  with  wheat  and  wheat  and  Flour  might  and  no  doubt 
will  in  the  course  of  time  be  Exported  to  an  immence  amount  when  the 
agriculture  Trade  and  commerce  of  the  country  shall  be  properly  opened 
and  Encouraged  Corn  the  western  americans  main  crop  dose  not 
succeed  well  on  accout  of  the  coolness  of  the  nights  which  are  never 
warm  even  in  the  middle  of  summer  Fruit  apples  pears  plumbs 

peaches  &c  &c  yeeld  in  profusion  but  are  as  yet  of  an  ordinary  Quality 
being  small  and  hard  Timber  the  most  common  timber  is  the  Firr 
which  grows  in  astonishing  quantities  and  of  immence  size  and  Length 
many  trees  measureing  over  100  feet  of  clear  Timber  and  producing  in 
good  grooves  From  20  to  Thirty  thousand  Rails  forom  one  acre  and  it 
is  quite  common  for  one  man  to  chop  &  split  300  rails  per  day  Labour 
is  verry  high  common  Labour  commanding  forom  thirty  to  fifty  dollars 
per  month  and  mechanicle  labor  commanding  from  two  to  three  dollars 
per  day  owing  to  the  Kind  of  work  and  the  Qualifications  of  the  work- 
man The  pay  however  is  in  Merchandize  of  the  produce  of  the 
country  The  nominal  price  of  wheat  is  one  dollar  per  bushel  and 
merchandize  at  forom  one  to  two  hundred  percent  proffit  I  ne- 

glected to  finish  the  article  of  timber  on  the  oposite  page  after  the 
Firr  which  is  of  two  kinds  the  white  and  the  red  pine  comes  next  in 
importance  Thire  is  of  this  too  speeces  Like  wise  the  yallow  and  the 
spruce  pines  Both  growing  large  and  plentifull  in  some  districts  while 
cedar  grows  in  small  Quantities  and  is  found  generally  difused  Hem- 
lock is  also  found  in  the  mountains  The  yew  an  evergreen  Likewis  is 
found  in  rocky  situations      a  spices  of  Laurel  also  resembling  the  laurel 


of  the  states  in  appearanc  grows  here  to  such  a  size  as  to  make  a  val- 
uable timber  for  furniture  The  oak  is  rather  dwarfish  and  shrubly  as 
Likewise  is  the  ash  but  Enough  of  either  is  found  for  the  impliments  of 
husbandry  and  mchanical  tools  &c  &c  Two  or  three  Kinds  of  maple 
is  likewise  found  here  but  they  do  not  grow  generally  large  and  thrifty 

The  Alder  of  this  Tiritory  is  large  compared  to  that  seen  in  the 
states  The  Bark  is  used  for  Tanning  leather  &  the  wood  sawn  & 
used  in  making  furniture  for  which  purpose  it  is  considered  verry 
good  several  Kinds  of  [willows]  are  found  some  growing  Quite  large 
and  in  fact  the  willow  seems  to  be  more  generally  defused  on  all  Kinds 
of  soil  than  any  other  Timber 

A  species  of  Hazel  is  also  very  common  and  is  the  only  tmbir  found 
Sutable  for  hoop  poles  and  is  also  the  onl}'-  Tree  or  shrub  Bearing  nutts 
the  nut  much  resembling  a  Small  Filbert 

Considrable  Quantities  of  Berries  are  found  in  their  proper  sea- 
son     The  strawbery  &  Huckelberry  nearly  the  same  as  in  the  States 

A  Species  of  Blackberry  and  Raspberry.       Barberry  verry  sour. 
Thimble  berry  Fine  acid.       Sallal  sweet  &  one  or  Two  other  Kinds  of 
not  much  importance  are  occasionally  found  with  goose  beries  and  wild 
current  make  up  the  most  of  the  Berries 

The  salmon  Fisheries  could  and  no  doubt  will  at  future  period  Be 
made  an  object  of  (and)  an  Extensive  trade  carried  on  in  and  through 
the  productions  of  the  rivers  a  small  species  of  oister  is  found  in 
some  places  on  the  coast  but  I  could  not  learn  that  they  ware  plenty 
no  other  valuable  Fish  enters  the  rivers  of  This  Teritory  that  I  could 
hear  of  except  salmon  some  whale  are  thrown  on  the  coast  every 
winter  By  the  Storms 

The  seal  is  common  on  the  coasts  and  in  the  bays  and  Rivers 
greate  Quantites  and  greate  verieties  of  water  fowl  is  found  in  all  parts 
of  The  open  country  during  the  rainy  season  such  as  the  Swan  the  crane 
goose  Brant  and  innumerable  Quantities  of  Ducks  with  the  wood  cock 
and  Snipe  The  soil  is  Intirely  clay  even  to  the  elluvial  lowlands  on 
the  streams      The  Bars  However  in  many  places  is  gravel 

The  Rock  is  of  The  dark  rough  Bassalt  family  and  appears  to 
have  all  been  in  a  state  of  Fusion  at  some  Remote  period  I  did  not 
heare  of  Lime  Being  found  only  at  one  place,  That  being  near  the 
mouth  of  the  Columbia  What  has  been  used  Heretofore  has  been 
brought  from  the  Isleands  as  ballast  on  board  of  vessels 

I  did  not  see  or  hear  of  any  coal  sand  stone  or  any  other  stratified 
Rock  but  various  Qualities  of  clays  are  found  in  greate  abundance 

DIARY,  JANUARY,  1845  133 

The  animals  are  Panthers  several  kinds  of  wolves  The  Black  the 
yallow  grey  and  spoted  all  large  and  traubelsome  killing  hogs  cattle  and 
even  in  some  instances  horses  and  mules  The  small  Prarie  wolf  is 
likewise  numerous  I  saw  no  foxes  The  Wild  [cat?]  is  not  num- 
erous plenty  of  Elk  are  found  in  the  mountains  and  deer  in  all  the 
Thickets  water  fowl  is  plenty  Beyond  all  conception  in  the  rainy 
season  all  the  Lowlands  being  Utterly  covered  the[y]  all  move  to 
the  north  and  east  during  the  months  of  April  and  May  The  Land 
Fowl  are  the  Firr  grous  the  Pheasant  and  Quail  as  kikewise  the  medow 
lark  which  are  found  in  greate  abundanc  on  the  open  lands  a  few  of 
the  Red  brast  wood  pickers  and  sparrow  are  also  seen  The  condor 
The  Buzzard  the  Raven  and  crow  with  several  speces  of  Hawks  most 
of  which  are  Plenty  the  Hawks  feed  mostly  on  mice  &  moles  both  of 
which  are  numerous 

several  Kinds  of  squirrels  areseen  all  of  which  Burrow  in  the  earth 
and  lie  torpid  in  the  rainy  season      some  lay  up  seed  to  live  on 
others  come  out  verry  lean  being  nothing  but  skin  and  bone 

The  Quantity  [of  water]  that  pours  from  the  mountains  on  either 
side  in  to  the  Willhamet  vally  is  truly  astonishing  every  8  or  10 
miles  Brings  you  to  a  river  and  brooks  innumerable  I  can  give  no 
Idea  of  (of)  the  length  of  This  vally  as  yet  but  shall  probably  have  a 
much  Better  oppertunity  in  our  rout  through  and  this  will  be  seen  in 
my  day  Journal 

[Then  follow  six  blank  pages  and  a  page  containing  the  name:] 
Elijah  White 

Lcinsing  Ville 

Tompkins  Co 
N.  Y. 
[This  completes  the  matter  on  the  leaves  sewn  into  the  journal.     The  diary  then  continues:] 

13  [Jan.  1845]  Slightly  cloudy  with  light  showers  of  rain  or 
mist  passing 

14  It  rained  som  last  night  But  cleared  off  in  the  morning  with  a 
cool  wind  from  the  norgth 

15  Clear  and  beautifull  with  a  stiff  white  frost  and  some  ice  on 
Shallow  water 

I  now  witnessed  the  catching  and  branding  of  a  lot  of  wild  cattle 
about  500  ware  drove  in  to  a  strong  pound  and  4  or  5  men  well  mounted 
rode  in  to  the  pound  the  animal  to  be  taken  being  pointed  out  some 
one  went  full  speed  amongst  the  herd  and  threw  a  rope  with  a  almost 
dead  certainty  a  round  the  horns  or  neck  of  the  animal  the  cord 
being  made  fast  to  his  saddle  Bow  he  stoped  his  horse  and  checked 
the  speed  of  the  animal  and  if  his  horse  was  not  sufficiantly  strong  3, 


4  or  5  other  men  threw  their  cords  on  the  animal  then  putting  spurs 
to  their  horses  they  draged  him  out  of  the  pound  by  main  force  and 
hampering  his  legs  with  cords  they  threw  him  then  Butchered  or 
branded  him  as  the  case  might  be 

From  information  I  found  that  in  this  settlement  caled  yam  Hill 
their  was  owned  and  runing  in  the  hills  about  Two  thousand  head  of 
wild  cattle  and  about  as  many  called  tame  which  tameness  consists  in 
thir  being  able  to  ride  amongst  them  and  drive  them  conveniantly 
nearly  whare  you  wish  the  main  bulk  of  these  cattle  are  owned 
by  Five  individuals  the  other  settlers  being  wrthless  citizens  or  late 
imigrants  which  have  but  small  stocks  of  Ten  Twenty  or  thirty  head 

16  Cool  and  chilly       light  showers  of  rain  and  hail 

17  Fogy  with  light  misty  showers  of  rain  the  [sun]  shone  the 
most  of  the  afternoon 

18  A  Regular  days  rain 

19  Same 

20  Stormy  with  wind  and  rain 

21  some  snow  fell  on  the  mountains  last  night 

22  continued  Showers  all  night 

23  Regular  Showers  in  continuation 

24  Showers  grow  lighter  &  less 

25  Fine  and  warm  and  clear 

26  Sunday  morning  pleasant      continued  fair 

27  strong  winds  from  the  s.  s.  W.  and  W.  with  light  showers  of 

28  Beautifull  clear  with  a  light  frost  we  had  a  view  of  some  of 
the  mountains  again  during  the  day  which  had  been  closed  for  the  last 
three  weeeks  with  fog  and  rain 

29  Wet  snow  &  rain 

30  showers      wind  variable  s.  SW  and  W. 

31  Qoudy  wind  S.W. 

Feruary  the  P*  1845 
Several  showers  of  rain  and  wet  snow  &  several  rain  Bows 

2  The  same      wind  S. 

3  Thick  and  cloudy  with  a  slight  Drizzilling  raian 

4  Fogy  with  a  tremendious  heavy  dew  this  morning  wind  South 
Afternoon  clear  and  warm  — 

5  Morning  Fogy      afternoon  clear 

6  a  white  Frost      cloudy 

7  Fair  and  warm 

8  Fair  Balmy  and  warm 

DIARY,  MARCH,  1845  135 

9  Same  willows  Alders  &  some  other  early  vegetation  beginning 
to  Bloom 

10  rainy 

11  Fair  But  not  clear 

12  rainy 

13  Heavy  showers  of  Rain 

14  Low  grimibling  thunder  with  rain 

15  Rapid  Showers 

16  Same       the  earth  covered  with  water 

1 7  The  rain  ceased  some  what 

18  Fair  I  noticed  several  of  the  Early  summer  birds  ware 
chirping  in  the  thickets 

19  Cloudy  Evening       Rainy 

20  same      Showers 

21  do      do 

22  same  this  day  fulfills  the  four  months  rain  and  yet  no 
emmediate  appearance  of  clear  weather 

23  strong  west  winds  commenced  blowing  last  night  and  still 
continues  attended  with  rapid  showers  of  hail  and  rain 

24  A  stiff  frost  last  night      the  day  Quite  pleasant  but  clou[dy] 

25  Cloudy  &  cool 

26  same  with  Showers  of  rain 

27  Fair 

28  Showers  wind  west 

Satterday  1845  March  the  First  clear  and  handsome  and  we 
enjoyed  the  fine  day  after  the  long  rainy  season  which  we  hope  is  now 
passed  away  for  this  season  the  hills  are  now  fast  becomeing  dry 
green  and  pleasant  the  grass  which  spread  itself  so  nicly  over  the 
surface  of  the  earth  last  fall  is  now  beginning  to  shoot  up  and  lengthen 

2  Clear  and  handsome 

3  do       wind  West 

4  Rain  cold  &  Blustring 

5  Clear  cool  N.  wind 

6  Clear  with  a  white  frost  the  Eternal  snow  cap*,  mountains 
glittering  in  bright  sun  Shine 

7  Clear  &  Beautifull  with  a  stiff  frost 

8  Fair       wind  west 

9  Fair      do  N.  W 

10  Clear  and  fine      Wind  North 

11  do      do      W  North 


12  Clear  &  Beautifull  I  had  a  Sunset  view  of  the  Cascade 
mountains  binding  the  vally  on  the  East  for  a  great  length  and  in  their 
dark  green  livery  with  now  and  then  a  high  peak  shooting  his  white 
snow  clad  [head]  far  in  to  the  regions  of  eternal  frost  while  the  lower 
vallies  show  all  the  active  indications  of  spring  or  rather  early  summer 

13  unusually  Bright  and  clear  the  musketoes  rather  trouble- 
some last  night 

Noticed  5  different  kinds  of  small  vegitables  in  full  Bloom  to  day 
the  [rain]  on  the  first  of  this  month  leaving  the  low  grounds  nearly 
covered  in  water  which  has  now  all  disappeared  and  left  us  fine  smoothe 
Dry  Prarie  to  pass  over  and  the  Plow  is  now  running  whare  one  week 
since  it  was  covered  in  water 

14  Clear  wind  north  and  verry  d[r]ying  vegitation  comeing 
rapidly  forward 

15  no  change  Except  the  vally  is  some  what  Enveloped  in  smoke 

1 6  same      Quite  warm 

1 7  same  do  ditto  The  water  fowl  have  nearly  all  left  this 
vally  and  many  of  the  summer  birds  Have  arived  and  make  the  morn- 
ings cheerfull  with  their  songs 

18  Clear  nothing  can  look  more  pleasant  than  clear  weather 
does  in  this  country  the  hils  handsomly  rounded  smoothe  and  thickly 
clothed  with  green  grass  the  sky  intirely  clear  not  a  cloud  to  be  seen 
but  one  continual  bright  sunshine  from  morning  untill  evening 

19  Slightly  Fogy  wind  west  vegetation  grows  rapidly  and  a 
fair  appearance  of  summer 

20  Fair      some  appearance  of  rain 

21  Fair  I  noticed  the  Maple  and  white  oak  bigen  to  shew  the 
leak  Strawberries  in  Bloom  and  the  hills  completely  covered  with 
small  flowers  mostly  purple  &  y allow      wind  West  &  N.W. 

22  Fair  and  pleasant 

23  a  heavy  dew  last  night  and  a  clear  Beautifull  day  a  person 
that  has  not  seen  this  country  can  have  no  Idea  of  the  verieties  of 
Beauties  Exhibited  here  in  a  clear  spring  morning 

Attended  divine  service  at  a  neighbouring  house  a  decent  be- 
haved congregation  of  Gentlemen  ware  prasent  But  few  Ladies  the 
service  was  performed  by  a  gentleman  of  the  Mothodist  i>ersuasion  who 
gave  good  advice  had  some  tolerable  Ideas  but  seem  to  want  language 
to  expess  them  in  And  I  must  say  that  female  beauty  is  not  (the) 
exclusively  confined  to  any  particular  region  or  country  for  here  too 
may  be  seen  the  fairy  form  the  fair  skin  the  dark  Eye  and  drk  hair 
so  beautifully  dscribed  by  Byron  displayed  in  the  person   [of]   Miss 

DIARY,  APRIL,  1845  137 

smith^^^  who  I  understood  had  traversed  the  interminable  plains  from 
the  states  here  from  here  to  Callifomia  and  from  callifomia  Back  here 
again  and  is  now  Just  swelling  into  womanhood  with  all  the  Beauties, 
if  not  all  the  accomplisments  Belonging  to  the  sexe 

24  Clear  &  dry 

25  A  Light  shower  of  rain  fell  last  night  which  gives  a  deep  colour 
to  vegetation  this  morning  the  summer  birds  seem  to  enjoy  the 
change  by  their  buesy  songs  and  continual  chirping  The  hoarse  notes 
of  the  firr  grouse  is  heard  makeing  a  Bass  for  the  shrill  medow  larks 

26  Clear 

27  Clear  a  light  shower  of  rain  fell  last  night  Coll  light 
showers  of  rain  fell  during  the  afternoon 

28  Called  on  Dr.  [Elijah]  White  Indian  agent  for  the  Teritory 
found  the  Dr.  a  plasant  companionable  man  makeing  out  his  dispaches 
for  the  Express  soon  departing  for  the  states  by  the  way  of  Canada 

on  my  way  passed  the  methodist  mission  Established  by  Mr  Jason  Lee 
who  like  many  others  made  an  unhappy  selection  nearly  the  whole 
of  the  mission  houses  having  been  overflown  by  the  freshets  during  the 
last  winter  and  much  of  their  fencing  carried  away  and  one  thousand 
Bushel  of  wheat  distroyed  Mr  [Alanson]  Beers  occupied  the  mission 
hous  all  the  members  of  the  Establishment  being  scattered  and  mis- 
sion opperations  all  stoped  the  soil  of  the  mission  farmes  is  [good] 
but  the  place  wants  veriety  being  an  uneven  plain  worn  in  gutters  by 
the  frishets  from  the  river  I  did  not  heare  of  any  advantages  of  any 
consequence  that  had  resulted  to  the  Indians  from  this  establishment 
during  its  most  flurrishing  days  but  it  apears  that  the  most  of  the  funds 
ware  aprpopated  to  indvidual  speculation  The  day  proved  disagree- 
able and  severall  rapid  showers  of  snow  fell  during  the  day  which  melted 
as  it  fell 

29  morning  Fogy  cleard  about  noon  made  preperations  to 
go  by  water  to  the  falls  of  willhamet 

30  cloudy       wind  s.W. 

31  Rainy       arived  at  the  Falls 

Tuesday  April  the  First  1845  The  second  term  of  the  circuit 
court  opened  its  session  for  the  county  Klackimus  and  was  attended  by 
a  small  genteel  well  behaved  audience       the  Judge  Mr   [James  W.] 

116  Probably  a  daughter  of  Andrew  Smith  who  traveled  to  Oregon  from  Day- 
ton, Ohio,  in  Elijah  White's  train  in  1842.  He  accompanied  Hastings  part  way  to 
California  the  next  year  but  turned  back  at  the  Rogue  River,  returning  to  the 
settlements  with  Joel  Walker.  There  were  two  other  Smiths  with  Hastings  but 
neither  of  them  had  families. 


Nesmith  charged  the  gran  Jury  in  a  short  but  appropiate  address 

and  here  might  be  seen  the  greate  and  salatory  effects  of  Temper- 
ance the  Judge  the  sheriff  and  several  of  the  Jurors  having  left  the 
states  their  friend  [s]  society  and  civilization  on  the  account  of  the  de- 
morilizeing  effects  of  spiritous  Liquor  here  whare  no  alcahall  can  be 
obtained  they  have  become  good  intelegent  industrious  citizens  ac- 
cumelating  property  and  filling  the  highes  and  most  importent  offices 
in  the  Teritory  with  honor  to  themselves  and  the  country  they  now 
have  become  citizens  of  [Oregon] 

2  Continues  Rainy 

3  Cloudy 

4  Clear  &  warm  Left  the  falls  to  assend  the  willhamet  by 
water  our  small  canoe  being  only  large  enough  to  carry  two  men  and 
thir  Baggage  the  rocks  close  in  near  to  the  waters  edge  for  about 
three  miles  above  the  falls  whare  the  steep  cliffs  begin  to  recede  and 
(and)  the  vally  opens  out  to  a  considerable  width  the  Twalatta 
river  enters  2  miles  above  the  falls  and  tumbles  through  the  rocks  in 
a  succession  of  rapids  which  renders  this  river  intirely  unfit  for  navi- 
gation even  for  a  light  canoe  about  one  mile  above  the  mouth  of  the 
Tuallata  is  a  considerable  rapid  in  the  willhamet  whare  several  boats 
laden  with  wheat  have  been  lost  during  the  past  winter  this  rapid 
however  is  not  dangerous  in  low  water  and  may  be  passed  by  steam 
boats  at  common  stage  10  miles  above  the  Tuallatta  the  Molelilla 
river  enters  from  the  east  heading  in  the  cascade  mountains  and  is 
about  the  same  size  of  the  twallatta  measuring  about  60  yards  wide 
but  the  latter  stream  discharges  double  the  water  of  the  former  and  is 
scarcely  ever  fordable  the  Twalatta  being  fordable  in  many  places 
when  low  made  about  20  miles  and  encamped  the  whole  of  the 
country  seen  from  the  river  is  thickly  covered  with  Firr  timbr  and 
impenetrable  under  brush 

5  Clear  and  warm  about  9  oclock  arived  at  champoeg  here 
a  village  is  laid  out  but  nothing  doing  in  the  way  of  improvement 
this  place  is  a  dry  sandy  level  a  few  feet  above  high  water  and  is 
Twenty  five  miles  above  the  falls  a  settlement  of  about  Two  Hunded 
families  of  Half  breeds  and  Canadian  French  reside  in  the  vicinity 
stoped  with  Mr  Newel  [Robert  Newell]  the  propietor  who  has  been 
one  of  the  Rocky  Mountan  trappers  and  4  years  since  gathered  his 
posibles  his  Flat  Head  wife  and  changed  his  precarious  mountain  life 
for  a  more  certain  means  of  subsistance  in  the  Willhamet  vally  and  has 
had  the  honor  of  being  one  of  the  members  of  the  provisional  Legis- 
lature for  the  past  year 

DIARY,  APRIL,  1845  139 

6  Cloudy  I  noticed  several  Beautifull  flowering  shrubs  in 
thickets  now  in  bloom  and  a  Beautifull  species  of  Humming  Bird  Hov- 
ering around  them       several  showers  of  rain  fell  during  the  day 

7  Fair  and  warm  wind  South  Doct.  M"^Laughlin  arived  here 
from  above  Few  men  can  out  do  the  venerable  Doctor  for  philan- 
thopy  urbanity  and  Social  conversation  Too  much  praise  cannot  be 
bestwoed  on  the  venerable  superintendant  of  the  H.  B.  Co  for  his 
humanity  and  fostering  care  bstowed  on  the  poor  and  wearied  emigrants 
on  their  first  arival  in  this  country 

8  Attended  a  convention  for  the  nomination  of  governor  and  other 
Executive  officers  a  Judge  and  several  Military  officers  all  apeared 
to  go  off  fairly  and  without  Difficulty  The  day  pleasant  and  warm 
The  Frenchman  at  whose  house  the  convention  was  held  has  a  beauti- 
full young  bearing  apple  orchard  now  casting  the  Bloom  and  shewing 
the  young  fruit 

9  Clear  and  warm 

10  Showery  the  hills  which  ware  purple  with  flowers  lately  are 
now  completely  covered  in  yallow 

1 1  Clear  and  pleasant 

12  same  A  party  for  the  states  consisting  of  about  15  men 
assemble  to  day  at  the  falls  and  will  take  their  final  leave  in  a  few  days 

13  some  showers  of  rain  fell  during  the  night  the  leaves  on 
most  of  the  Trees  is  now  full  grown 

14  The  morning  clear  I  noticed  severable  fields  of  wheat  narely 
knee  high  and  many  farmers  have  not  commenced  sowing  as  yet  and 
some  have  not  began  to  plow 

1 5  Cool  with  light  showers  of  rain  mingled  with  hail  The  court 
for  Yam  Hill  County  met  and  adjourned  without  a  case  (bieing)  being 
filed  on  docket 

16  Cool  and  clear 

17  Cool      Light  Showers 

1 8  Cloudy  most  of  the  day 

19  Clear  with  a  cool  Breeze  from  the  N.  W.  Wholesome  Ex- 
hilerating  and  pleasant  to  the  lungs 

20  A  stiff  white  frost  this  morning      cloudy  &  Quite  cool 

21  another  white  Frost  and  cool  cloudy  day      greate  Qwantities 
of  geese  and  Brant  passing  to  the  N.  at  so  greate  a  hight  as  to  [be] 
allmost  invisible      allso  greate  Qauntities  of  Firr  Grouse  on  the  hills 
these  grouse  are  fine  eating  &  much  resemble  a  Pheasant  in  appearance 
but  are  nearly  double  the  weight  of  a  Pheasant 

22  Cool  and  Blustry  after  a  rainy  night 


25     some  Frost      cool  and  clear 

24  Rainy 

25  Rainy      The  [sky]  cleared  off  with  a  stiff  west  wind 

26  Clear  and  fine 

27  Cool  and  chilly  clared  off  in  the  afternoon  and  shewed  us 
the  Low  mountains  covered  white  in  snow  a  circumstance  that  hapened 
But  one  during  the  winter 

28  The  sun  arose  clear  and  splendid  the  afternoon  was  not  so 
favourable  for  in  swiming  my  horse  over  the  Yam  Hill  river  he  got 
tangled  in  the  willows  near  the  shore  and  after  a  number  of  fruitly 
exertions  to  clear  the  brush  and  assend  the  nearly  perpendicular  bank  he 
gave  up  to  drown  I  swung  from  the  canoe  and  taking  the  rope  swam 
ashore  one  mor  exertion  with  my  help  brot  him  out  of  the  Brush 
and  throwing  the  cord  to  the  men  in  the  canoe  they  landed  safely  on  the 
oposite  side  we  then  mounted  and  rode  Fifteen  miles  about  5  miles 
of  which  distance  it  Blew  and  rained  without  mercy  and  extremely  cold 
directly  in  our  faces 

29  Frost  this  morning  yestarday  morning  Likewise  the  day 
proved  fair  I  staid  last  night  with  Mr  Jacob  Reed  [Reid]  who  has 
a  fine  farm  of  50  acres  in  wheat  allthough  he  came  to  the  [country] 
without  friends  in  1843  he  has  Likewise  one  of  the  most  beautifuU 
romantic  building  places  I  have  yet  seen  in  the  country  a  clear 
spring  of  Limpid  water  breaking  out  in  a  grove  of  low  gnarled  oaks 
on  a  handsome  assent  surrounded  by  a  high  ridge  of  the  same  kind  of 
land  all  smoothe  and  covered  with  a  fine  short  grass  surrounded  by  a 
much  higher  ridge  of  firr  timber  except  to  the  west  whare  opens  a  rich 
level  prarie  sufficient  fo  a  large  farm  the  view  bounded  by  the 
Killimook  mountains  at  the  distance  of  a  few  miles  to  the  west 

30  without  Frost      pleasant 

Thirsday  May  the  First  1845       Clear  and  pleasant      wind 

2  Clear  and  pleasant  The  mountains  have  been  hid  in  fog 
and  clouds  for  some  days  past  but  opened  handsomely  to  view  again  to 
day  and  seem  to  be  covered  with  new  fallen  snow 

3  Morning  clear  and  cool  with  a  heavy  dew      spent  the  day 
which  proved  to  be  verry  fine  in  the  novel  occupation  of  dressing  a 
Panther  skin  for  a  gun  cover       The  forenoon  was  warm  and  sultry 
the  sea  brieze  came  up  from  the  west  early  in  the  afternoon  coal  and 
pleasant  and  continued  untill  after  sun  set 

4  Another  clear  day  The  oak  leaves  full  grown  and  the  oak  is 
the  latest  of  all  the  timber  in  this  country      goose  Berries  nearly 

DIARY,  MAY,  1845  141 

Large  Enough  for  use      The  Farmers  are  still  sowing  wheat  and  will 
continue  some  time  yet 

5  Clear  and  warm  to  day  commences  the  greate  collection  of 
wild  cattle  for  the  purpose  of  Branding  and  delivering  all  that  have  been 
solod  or  Traded  for  the  last  six  months 

6  same  A  Large  dark  cloud  of  smoke  seemed  to  be  hovering 
around  the  Icy  pinicle  of  mount  Hellen  for  some  days  past  but  whether 
it  proceeded  forom  the  crater  or  not  I  could  not  determin 

the  Hills  have  been  for  some  days  completely  red  with  the  clover 
now  in  full  bloom 

7  The  wind  Shifted  to  the  south  &  it  commenced  raining  in  half 
an  hour 

the  afternoon  clear  and  cool  went  to  M""  Jays  to  see  the  brand- 
ing and  marking  of  wild  cattle  saw  a  pound  full  containing  some 
5  of  600  Head  and  10  or  12  men  on  horse  back  Lassing  and  draging  out 
by  the  saddle 

8  Clear  and  cool  Had  a  conversation  with  M"".  [Henry?]  Wood 
who  had  just  returned  from  a  trip  to  Peugetts  sound  he  informs  me 
that  he  assended  the  Cowletts  river  in  a  canoe  some  25  or  30  miles  & 
found  the  stream  deep  with  a  strong  current  avarage  width  about  one 
Hundred  yards  The  Cowlets  vally  and  settlement  commences  (com- 
mences) 25  miles  up  this  stream  forom  the  Columbia  the  river  banks 
high  and  dry  the  country  back  rough  and  mountainous  and  thickly 
covered  with  timbe[r]  the  Praries  openes  out  in  the  vally  and  are 
beautiful  and  rich  soil  Size  of  the  vally  some  40-  to  60  miles  wide 
and  60  to  80  Long  about  one  third  smoothe  Prarie  the  other  two 
thirds  thickly  covered  with  fine  timber  mostly  Firr  Two  other  rivers 
head  in  this  vally  to  wit  the  Jahalis  and  Black  river  Both  Emtying  in 
to  the  Pacific  North  of  the  Columbia  and  discharging  narly  the  same 
quantity  of  water  as  the  Cowletts 

He  Likewise  passed  over  the  ridge  into  the  vally  near  Pugetts  sound 
called  the  Nesqually  vally  this  vally  Extends  beyond  the  strech  of 
vision  in  all  directions  Except  to  the  East  whare  it  is  bounded  by  the 
raged  peaks  of  the  cascade  mountains  through  these  However  there 
is  a  good  easy  pass  in  the  direction  of  Fort  walla  walla  This  last 
mentioned  vally  is  well  clothed  in  grass  but  timbr  is  scarce  and  but  little 
seen  excpt  neare  the  mountains  or  bordering  on  and  neare  the  streams 
this  latter  of  a  shrubby  discription  and  not  generally  valuable  the 
former  good  and  valuable  but  in  most  places  inconvenient 

9  Visited  M"^  Waldows  settlement  the  day  proved  showery  and 
disagreeable      Mr.  Waldow    [Daniel  Waldo]   has  made  his  selection 


in  the  Hills  deviding  the  waters  of  the  Moleally  and  the  Santiam  rivers 
and  was  last  season  the  only  person  in  the  colony  who  cultivated  the 
hill  Land  and  in  this  experiment  he  succeeded  admirably  a  small 
settlement  is  now  around  him  extending  their  farms  in  all  directions 
over  the  most  beautifull  tract  of  country  sinking  and  swelling  in  regular 
rounded  forms  of  all  immaginary  verieties  finely  interspersed  with  groves 
of  oak  and  Firr  Timbr  and  numerous  springs  of  never  failing  clear 
water  in  many  insances  bursting  out  neare  the  top  of  the  hills 

Mr  Waldow  has  a  fine  stock  of  the  best  blooded  cattle  I  have  yet 
seen  in  the  Teritory 

10  Appearance  of  Showers  and  in  this  we  ware  not  disappointed 
for  a  number  of  rapid  Showers  fell  during  the  day  I  rode  through  the 
entire  upper  settlements  on  the  East  of  the  willhamet  and  was  highly 
pleased  with  the  beautifull  veriaty  of  hill  and  vally  so  softly  vaued 
and  intermingled  with  hill  and  dale  as  Likewis  timber  and  Prarie  all 
luxuriently  clothed  in  a  rich  and  heavy  coat  of  vegetation  and  Utterly 
clothed  in  Flowers  the  upland  in  yallow  and  the  vallys  in  purple  The 
Quantity  of  small  flowering  vegettiles  is  verry  remarkable  &  beyond  all 

1 1  Clear  and  Fine      some  showers  passed  to  the  North 

12  A  slight  Frost  and  a  c[l]eare  morning      the  afternoon  cloudy 

13  It  rained  moderately  nearly  all  night  It  being  the  First  warm 
pleasant  rain  we  have  had  this  season 

14  The  rain  continued  all  night  and  all  day  likewise 

15  Continues  to  Rain  Moderately  in  the  afternoon  it  ceased 
to  rain 

16  Morning  clear  and  Bright  Visited  Dr  White  the  [Indian 
Agent]  and  in  walking  over  his  farm  we  picked  a  few  handfulls  of  ripe 
strawberries  which  grow  here  in  greate  abundance  on  nearly  all  the 
Prarie  lands 

17  Clear  and  Beautiful  with  fine  warm  weather  My  Dog  had 
fine  sport  catching  young  Larks  All  those  buisied  in  preparing  for 
California  who  intend  to  make  that  trip  this  season  the  atmosphere 
verry  clear  &  Bright 

1 7  Same 

18  Same  spent  the  day  in  writeing  an  answer  to  some  Queries 
propounded  by  D^  White  who  leaves  for  the  states  on  the  hopes  of 
obtaining  the  gubenatorial  chair 

rAmong  the  Clyman  papers  found  in  the  attic  of  Mr.  Tallman's  house  was  what  appears 
to  be  a  contemporaneous  draft  of  the  document  written  for  White.  It  is  in  ink,  in  Clyman's  hand, 
on  five  leaves,  similar  to  those  of  the  diaries,  and  is  sewn  together  and  labeled:] 

DIARY,  MAY,  1845  143 


In  your  Reqest  of  May  the  16  you  ask  me  what  I  Think  of  soil  I  Believe 
the  Soil  to  be  very  productive  which  has  been  well  proved  in  all  Instances  that  has 
come  under  my  observation  and  I  am  Free  to  [say]  it  has  all  the  appeareances  of 
being  remarkably  durable  being  formed  allmost  intirely  of  clay  and  decomposed 
vegitable  matter 

The  climate  is  no  doubt  Beautifull  Beyond  all  conception  to  an  American  in, 
the  dry  season 

The  rainy  season  is  verry  disagreeable  But  the  temprature  is  Remarkably  even 
therer  being  no  Intence  warm  weather  nor  extreme  cold  and  this  Equality  of 
Temprature  is  no  doubt  conducive  to  health 

Health.  The  Amercan  and  European  population  of  this  country  seem  To 
Enjoy  remarkable  good  health  in  Fact  far  Beyond  all  my  formed  observations 
considering  the  Hardshps  and  exposures  they  yearly  undergo 

scenery  in  this  I  know  I  shall  want  Language  I[n]  richness  and  veriety 
of  Scenery  this  county  cannot  be  surpassed  assend  one  of  your  smoothe  Hand- 
somely rounded  eminences  and  you  have  at  once  glance  all  the  veriety  of  Scenery 
that  nature  ever  produced  sLx  or  eight  Heaven  towring  peaks  are  visable  at  once 
covered  in  eternal  Ice  and  snow  thier  ruged  time  worn  sides  softned  by  Distance, 
your  eye  desending  the  region  of  bear  Rocks  and  Nightly  Frosts  in  a  Broad  Belt 
around  the  Peaks  attracts  your  attention  with  lower  peaks  of  the  same  attitude 
Still  desending  long  ranges  of  deep  green  Firr  clad  elivations  of  great  veriety  of 
shape  and  apearance  Extend  themselves  to  the  right  and  left  far  beyond  the  strech 
of  vision 

The  Eye  still  desending  you  catch  the  softly  rounded  grass  clad  hills  with  thier 
shrubby  oak  groves  and  Prarie  vallies  with  various  shades  of  green  drapery  untill 
at  last  your  [eye]  rests  on  the  broad  vally  Striching  itself  paralell  withe  mountain 
here  too  you  have  the  veriety  of  Timber  and  Prarie  with  all  the  meanderings 
of  the  large  and  small  streams  that  wind  and  intersect  the  vally  in  all  directions 
Bring  your  eye  closer  and  you  Distinguish  farms  and  fields  still  closer  and  houses 
and  herds  appear  and  last  not  least  of  all  a  few  horsemen  are  seen  going  like  the 
wind  over  some  smoothe  Prarie  and  disappearing  in  an  oak  grove  pardon  me  sir 
those  rapid  coursiers  ware  gentlemen  and  Ladies  out  on  a  ride  of  plesure 

Timber  Nature  seems  to  have  Reversed  things  allmost  intirely  here  you 
have  the  noble  ash.  oak  and  maple  dwindled  down  in  to  shrubs  and  dwarfs  while 
the  dwarfish  Laurel  and  alder  strech  themselves  up  into  valuable  Timbrs  and  the 
still  more  dwarfish  Hazel  and  Elder  shoot  up  into  usefull  sized  shrubs  But  the 
noble  Firr  of  this  country  is  beyon  all  conception  therp  being  Nothing  in  the  states 
to  bear  any  comparison  But  few  of  the  Trees  measuring  less  man  100  feet  of  clear 
valuable  Timbr  and  many  going  Far  beyond  this  length  and  in  many  instances 
yielding  from  Thirty  to  Forty  thousand  rails  from  an  acre  [The  follov/ing  is 
crossed  out,  —  "on  the  whole  I  do  not  know  that  I  can  give  you  a  bette  discrip- 
tion  than  to  quote  of  stanza  of  native  Poetry 

The  Firrs  their  length  their  extrem  hight"  etc.  etc.] 

as  to  the  Rivers  streams  and  water  courses  of  this  country  they  are  admirably 
adapted  in  many  instances  for  Hydraulic  porposes  and  may  be  generally  verry 
cheaply  used  for  all  the  necesary  machienery  that  will  ever  [be]  required  for  even 
an  extensive  manufacturing  community 

But  for  navegation  the  rivers  are  generally  to  rapid  and  too  many  and  to  great 
obstuctions  to  ever  make  the  inland  navigation  cheap  easy  or  safe 

as  to  natureal  advantages  so  far  as  Subsistance  is  concerned  such  of  the 
Teritory  as  is  cultivatible  I  have  no  doubt  will  yield  Bountifully  and  many  of  the 
dry  and  arid  portions  would  feed  considerable  numbers  of  the  several  kinds  of 
domestic  stock  but  taking  the  Teritory  as  [a]  whole  seven  Eights  of  it  is  mere 
wast  land  and  never  can  support  a  civilized  population  you  must  consider  all 
my  former  remarks  confined  to  the  west  of  the  cascade  mountains 

as  to  national  advantages  I  concieve  they  must  be  but  few      allowing  the 


settlements  of  the  East  to  Extend  to  the  Forks  of  the  River  Platte  then  you  have 
Twelve  Hundred  miles  of  dry  arid  mountain  Region  to  pass  to  arive  near  the  Blue 
mountain  whare  Settlements  may  again  possibly  exist  with  a  verry  few  exceptions 
so  that  nature  [has]  thrown  insurpassable  objections  to  i[t]s  becomeing  an 
intergal  part  of  the  United  states  it  may  However  and  no  doubt  will  strengthen 
the  commercial  relations  with  China  Russia  and  the  Pacific  Islands  and  coasts 

I  am  of  opinion  that  a  Section  of  Land  ought  and  will  be  granted  to  all  those 
who  may  be  occupents  of  this  Teritoiy  at  or  before  the  time  of  the  establishment 
of  the  U.  S.  claim  or  previous  to  the  organization  of  a  Territorial  government  on 
account  of  thier  early  movement,  and  unprecedented  hard  ships  as  Likewis  on 
account  of  the  encouragements  By  all  the  movements  in  Congress  in  relation  to  the 
settlement  and  occupation  of  this  remote  part  of  the  U.  S.  Teritory 

The  appointment  of  officers  I  have  allways  been  favourable  to  the  appoint- 
ment of  official  agents  from  the  Neighbourhood  or  country  whare  their  services 
ware  required  and  I  think  in  this  country  of  all  others  a  selection  from  her  owm 
citizens  would  be  best  Quallified  to  give  general  satisfaction  Both  to  the  govern- 
ment and  the  governed 

19  morning  Quite  warm       the  afternoon  windy  and  cool 

20  morning  cool  and  clear       the  days  begin  to  [be]  verry  long 

2 1  raim  and  hail  cool  &  windy  &  disagreeable  the  flowers  of 
this  region  seem  to  be  well  filled  with  honey  but  the  bees  are  wanting 

22  Continues  cool  with  light  showers  of  rain  &  hail 

23  Cool  and  clear  with  a  north  wind  about  this  time  the  farm- 
ers begin  to  think  that  all  their  spring  wheat  should  be  sown  &  but  a  few 
are  still  sowing  and  the  crop  is  never  intirely  all  finished  untill  the  first 
of  June  allthough  you  may  commence  sowing  again  by  the  first  of 
august  the  rains  haveing  then  intirely  ceased  the  grain  will  not  grow 
before  October  or  when  the  winter  rains  again  commence 

24  Cloudy  with  the  appearance  of  rain  Received  Letters  of 
Introduction  From  Doct.  M'^Laughlin  and  official  Documents  from  Dr 
White  directed  to  the  authorities  of  California  impowering  myself  to 
(to)  inquire  into  the  cause  of  the  death  of  one  of  the  Skyeuse  chiefs^^" 

ii'^  Elijah  Hedding,  educated  son  of  the  Wallawalla  chief,  Peupeumoxox,  was 
killed  by  Grove  Cook  at  Sutter's  Fort  in  a  quarrel  over  a  stolen  mule.  After  re- 
turning to  Oregon  the  incensed  natives  threatened  to  lay  waste  Oregon  and  to 
invade  California  with  a  strong  war  party.  White,  realizing  the  seriousness  of  the 
affair,  sent  letters  to  the  Secretary  of  War  (quoted  in  White,  A  Concise  View  of 
Oregon  Territory,  Washington,  1846,  pp.  47-56,  and  in  W.  H.  Gray,  History  of 
Oregon,  pp.  399-404),  to  Larkin,  to  Governor  Pio  Pico,  and  to  Captain  Sutter. 
These  three  latter  documents  are  not  known  to  be  in  existence  but  some  of  the  sub- 
sequent correspondence  is  printed  below. 

White  requested  that  Cook,  if  guilty,  should  be  brought  to  trial,  but  nothing 
came  of  the  investigation  which  followed.  The  unavenged  murder  is  said  to  have 
been  one  of  the  causes  of  the  Whitman  massacre  and  the  disastrous  Indian  wars 
which  followed. 


[Letter  from  Sutter  to  Larkin  regarding  the  Hedding  affair] 

[Larkin  Documents  III,  227,  MS.  Bancroft  Library  ] 

New  Helvetia  21  "*  July  1845. 
Thomas  O.  Larkin  Esq'^.  U.  S.  Consul 
Dear  Sir! 

I  received  a  letter  of  the  U.  S.  Sub  Indian  Agent  D\  E. 
White  from  the  Oregon  Territory  from  the  same  Gentleman  you  will 
receive  letters  concerning  the  Wallawalla  Affaire,  likewise  he  wrote  to 
the  Government  of  California  about  the  same.  D\  White  writes  me 
that  he  reported  this  affaire  to  the  Secretary  of  War. 

It  is  not  unknown  to  you  what  happened  here;  but  now  I  will 
give  you  every  particulars:  When  this  people  arrived  here,  consisting  out 
the  Wallawalla  Chief  Piopiopio,  and  his  Son  Leicer  [Elijah]  educated 
by  the  Methodists  on  the  Wallamett,  the  young  Chief  of  the  Skyuses, 
Capcapelic  the  Nez-percez  Chief,  Latazi  an  other  Chief  with  some 
people  of  the  three  different  tribes  amounting  to  about  36  Men,  with 
their  Women  and  Children.  As  I  was  acquainted  formerly  with  this 
Dignitaries  when  I  passed  through  the  Oregon  to  fort  Van  Couver,  I 
received  this  people  well  and  with  great  Hospitality,  gave  them  good 
Advice  how  to  behalf  them  self  in  this  country,  and  gave  them  in  my 
Official  Capacity  Passports  and  Permision  to  hunt  within  the  limits 
of  my  Jurisdiccion  and  no  further.  Knowing  very  well  that  the  would 
have  plenty  of  Difficulty's  if  the  would  go  in  the  Settlements. 

Leicer  the  pupil  of  the  Methodists  behaved  very  saucy  and 
haughty  and  more  independent  as  the  Chiefs,  in  the  first  place  He  Killed 
a  young  Man  of  his  own  people  when  encamped  close  by  the  fort,  whose 
body  was  eat  up  by  the  Hogs,  which  was  the  discoverers.  On  the  road 
from  here  to  the  San  Joaquin  he  would  have  Killed  an  other  of  his 
people,  if  M^  James  Williams  had  not  taken  away  his  rifle  in  the 
Moment  he  wanted  to  Kill  him,  this  boy  was  the  terror  of  the  old  Chiefs 
he  had  the  whole  ride  over  them,  and  no  doubt  he  would  have  become 
a  great  tyrant  amongs  his  people.  When  I  returned  from  Monterey  the 
last  Winter  they  was  encamped  again  close  by  the  fort,  a  good  deal  of 
Complains  came  in,  by  the  people  here,  M\  Grove  Cook  was  among 
them,  he  claimed  a  Mule  which  they  got  from  the  Horsethiefs  or  the 
wild  Horses,  M\  Cook  could  prove  that  the  Mule  was  his  property  and 
they  would  not  give  her  up  to  him,  and  Leicer  told  him  to  go  and  take 
the  Mule  when  he  is  brave  enough,  taking  his  Riff,e,  and  after  a  few 
Words  leveled  the  Riffle  on  Cook.  When  I  called  them  here  to  tell 
them  in  my  Official  Capacity  to  come  here  with  all  their  Horses  in  my 
Corall,  to  part  all  the  Horses  which  do  not  belong  to  them,  out;  and 
that  they  are  entitled  to  some  recompense  for  their  trouble  of  getting 


this  Horses  from  the  Horsethiejs  or  from  the  wild  Horses;  but  the  did 
refuse  to  give  them  up,  saying  that  the  Rule  by  them  was,  to  Keep 
every  thing  what  the  can  get  in  this  Way. 

When  I  was  explaining  to  them  that  after  the  laws  of  the 
Country  the  would  have  to  give  up  all  the  Horses  which  dont  belong  to 
them,  and  that  I  compell  them  to  give  them  up.  —  then  I  was  inter- 
rupted and  called  by  D".  Pedro  Kostromdtinoff  (the  Russian  Agent) 
who  was  on  a  visit  here,  I  was  about  y^  an  hour  with  this  Gentleman, 
when  we  heard  a  shot,  we  went  to  see,  and  there  was  Leicer  death,  shot 
by  M".  Cook  in  my  house,  and  in  my  Office  in  presence  of  about  15 
foreigners  and  the  Chiefs  of  these  Indians,  which  fled  imediately  and  I 
did  no  more  see  one  of  them.  Leicer  called  Cook  a  Lyar  after  or  in  a 
quarrel  which  they  had  together. — It  was  very  disagreeable  for  me 
that  this  happened  in  my  house.  I  though  the  Chiefs  will  come  here 
and  deliver  the  Horses,  but  the  moved  Camp  and  travelled  fast  the  whole 
Night.  The  next  Morning  by  day  break  I  did  send  about  jo  armed 
Men  after  them,  to  compell  them  to  give  up  the  Horses;  but  they  could 
not  overtake  them  and  lost  their  tracks.  They  was  encamped  several 
days  near  M^  Lassens  farm  about  100  Miles  from  here  above  in  the 
Valley,  they  did  not  molest  him  at  all,  and  they  told  him  nothing  what 
has  happened  here.  I  though  all  time  that  some  of  them  would  return 
here  to  see  me;  but  they  did  not.  Nearly  all  of  them  have  a  few  head 
of  Cattle  to  receive  from  me,  for  Leather pantalons,  Buffalo  Robes, 
Rifle  and  some  Curiosity's  etc.  for  this  they  have  all  Orders  to  receive 
this  Cattle  at  any  time  on  my  farm  on  feather  River.  —  Doctor  White 
speake  of  their  property  which  they  fled  and  left  here,  to  give  him  an 
account  of  it;  that  is  all  what  they  left,  and  the  best  would  be  to  sell 
their  Orders  to  people  of  the  Wallamett  who  intends  to  come  here  to 
buy  Cattle,  by  presenting  this  Orders  the  Cattle  will  be  delivered  at 
anny  time.  — 

Doctor  White  states  also  that  they  are  very  willing  to  give  up  the 
Horses  which  dont  belong  to  them,  or  as  many  and  as  good  ones,  on 
Condition  that  their  property  be  returned  and  the  Murderer  be  delivered 
up  either  to  him  or  to  the  Indians.  —  The  Call  the  Name  of  (Cook) 
Knight.  D\  White  say  that  Leicer  (the  pupil  of  the  Missionary)  was 
by  no  means  viciously  inclined,  but  we  believe  here  all  that  Leicer  was 
a  great  Rascal.  — 

/  have  the  Honnor  to  remain  with  entire  Respect 
Most  Obedient  Servant 



[Larkin's  answer  to  White] 

[Larkin's  Official  Correspondence,  I,  44,  MS.  Bancroft  Library  ] 


Your  letter  under  date  of  May  i6th  1845.  by  Mr.  Clyman,  I 
received  to  day. 

I  have  heard  of  the  death  of  the  Indian,  and  Know  the  murderer, 
that  is,  I  presume  it's  the  same  (you  mention  no  name)  I  know  but 
little  how  the  murder  took  place,  nor  did  I  Know  what  tribe  the  de- 
ceased was  from. 

I  cannot  take  up  this  affair,  on  your  part,  your  letter  does  not 
come  to  me  in  an  official  shape;  nor  is  it  accompanied  with  documents, 
nor  do  you  even  name  the  murderer;  you  say  Mr.  Clyman  will  assist 
me,  he  can  do  nothing  as  a  single  man,  nor  has  he  and  I  right,  to  do 
in  the  case,  what  we  may  see  proper  as  you  mention. 

I  have  no  known  authority  to  take  up  the  person  you  mention, 
no  funds  to  retain  him,  nor  have  I  from,  any  person  orders  to  receive 
him:  in  fact,  from  your  letter,  I  can  do  nothing 

In  my  opinion,  if  in  your  letter  to  the  Governor  of  California 
(which  I  shall  send  to  him)  you  as  an  Officer  of  the  United  States  of 
America,  have  made  a  formed  demand  for  the  murderer,  and  have 
pointed  out  what  you  want  done;  it  will  be  attended  to,  the  Governor, 
Pio  Pico,  will  not  let  the  affair  pass  in  silence. 

I  shall  with  your  letter  send  to  the  Governor,  the  copy  of  your 
letter  to  the  Department  in  Washington,  and  request  him  to  act  in 
the  case,  as  he  may  see  fit. 

You  can  from  me  say  to  the  Father  of  the  youth  who  was  Killed, 
that  he  may,  alone  go  from  one  end  of  California  to  the  other  in  safety; 
and  should  he  from  you  or  the  proper  authorities  of  your  part  of  the 
country,  present  themselves  to  this  Government,  he  will  be  attended  to, 
and  justice  done  him  both  in  the  horrid  case  in  question,  and  in  the 
property  he  left  here. 

You  can  also  say  to  the  Father  of  the  deceased  and  to  the 
Chiefs  of  the  Tribe,  that  they  should  by  no  m^ans  act  premature  in 
this  business;  justice  may  be  slow,  but  it  will  be  sure,  untill  they, 
or  some  proper  person  makes  a  demand  on  the  Government  of  Califor- 
nia, they  cannot  expect  redress,  and  whenever  they  shall  make  this 
demand,  they  may  depend  on  my  attending  to  the  case,  to  the  best  of 
my  Knowledge. 

The  Chiefs  of  course  are  sorry  and  disappointed  from  the  loss; 
hHould  they  come  to  California,  to  redress  themselves,  they  would  in- 
ft/re  a  people  who  not  one  in  a  hundred,  Know  anything  about  the 


affair,  and  cause  trouble  to  themselves  and  this  Government,  who  I  am 
sure  will  give  them  justice  and  satisfaction,  when  ever  they  demand  it, 
should  they  commence  a  warfare  against  our  Countrymen,  it  would  end 
in  misiries  to  hundreds  of  both  parties,  and  no  satisfaction  be  obtained. 
You  will  request  this  Tribe  to  wait,  untill  this  affair  can  be 
thoughroughly  sifted  and  attended  to,  tell  them  through  some  proper 
person,  to  demand  their  property  of  the  Government  of  California,  and 
justice  for  the  crime  commited;  and  believe  that  the  Californians  will 
do  towards  them  and  all  Foreigners,  justice  and  imparciality ;  as  the 
distance  is  great  between  us,  much  time  will  be  required  to  settle  this 

I  am  Sir,  with  the  highest  respect, 
your  most  obedient  servant 

E.  White  Esq'. 
U.  S.  Sub- 
Agent,  for  In 
dian  affairs 

[Continuation  of  the  Clyman  Diaries  ] 

Heard  that  a  small  party  of  men  started  for  the  states  about  a  month 
since  ware  stoped  by  the  snake  Indians  on  account  of  Two  of  That 
nation  being  killed  by  some  Stragling  americans  that  came  through  the 
latter  part  of  the  winter 

This  circumstance  shews  the  great  necesity  of  some  authority  being 
Established  along  this  rout  it  being  allmost  amatter  of  necessity  that 
people  should  be  able  to  pass  and  repass  in  measureable  security  from 
and  to  the  states 

25  It  rained  all  night  and  the  morning  looked  dark  and  Disagree- 
able five  of  us  packed  up  and  started  for  the  California  rendavous^^^ 
about  noon  it  commenced  raining  and  rained  ail  the  afternoon  made 
15  miles  and  encamped  in  the  applegate  settlement  on  the  South 
branches  of  the  yam  hill  I  could  not  admire  the  Applegate  selection 
allthough  the  soil  is  good  But  a  portion  of  the  country  is  a  complete 
mudhole  and   the  settlement  is  inconvieniently   situated       The  hills 

lis  Regarding  this  project  Joseph  McKay  recollects  that: 

"In  the  neighborhood  of  Yamhill  I  met  with  an  American  by  the  name  of 
James  Clymer  who  appeared  to  be  the  head  of  a  party  who  had  arrived  overland 
from  Missouri  the  previous  autumn.  The  majority  of  Mr.  Clymers  Companions 
seemed  to  be  thoroughly  disgusted  with  Oregon  or  Columbia  as  it  was  then  called, 
and  it  was  intended  to  make  up  a  party  sufficiently  strong  to  undertake  the  journey 
southward,  across  the  mountains  into  California.  The  general  opmion  then  was 
that  it  was  an  exceedingly  dangerous  undertaking  on  account  of  the  warlike  nature 
of  the  Indians  on  the  route" —  Joseph  William  McKay,  Recolections  of  a  Chief 
Trader  in  the  Hudson's  Bay  Company,  Pacific  MS.  24,  Bancroft  Library. 

DIARY,  MAY,  1845  149 

as  usual  as  beautiful  and  picturesque  and  in  many  places  covered  Belly 
deep  to  our  Horses  in  clover 

26  A  disagreeable  rainy  night  left  our  incampment  passed 
over  a  beautifull  undulating  country  near  the  Killamook  mountains 
made  about  four  miles  and  encamped  on  La  Creole  a  handsome  clear 
running  stream  with  fine  rich  prarie  intervales  on  either  side  some 
settlements  have  commenced  to  be  made  on  this  creek  during  the  past 
winter  and  a  mill  is  now  in  building  a  few  miles  above  our  camp  This 
La  Creole  or  Rickreole  is  finely  adapted  for  Hydraulic  purposes  as  well 
as  for  agracultureal       timber  is  however  in  many  places  rather  scarce 

27  Cloudy  packed  up  and  moved  10  miles  to  the  Lukimute 
passed  over  a  fine  roling  country  the  Lukimute  is  [a]  clear  gravelly 
stream  falling  out  of  the  Killimook  mountains  and  has  some  fine  rich 
prarie  Bottoms  the  hills  as  usual  covered  with  Oak  &  Firr  the 
white  [s]  extend  this  [far]  south  their  being  two  or  three  farms  com- 
menced here  this  spring  one  year  ago  the  nearest  house  was  Thirty 
miles  north      so  goes  the  settlments  in  the  willhamet  vally 

28  It  commenced  raining  yestarday  about  noon  and  still  continues 
to  rain  we  Expect  to  rimain  here  about  a  week  waiting  for  the  party 
[to]  collect  as  we  are  now  in  advance  of  the  main  camp  which  are 
collecting  [at]  rikreole  12  miles  in  our  rear  rode  out  over  the  hills 
and  shot  severals  g[r]ous       found  the  grous  quite  plenty 

It  is  remarkable  to  See  the  great  Quanty  of  esculent  roots  that 
grows  in  all  parts  of  this  vally  Ten  or  Twelve  acres  of  cammace  in 
one  marsh  is  Quite  common  and  in  many  instances  it  will  yield  20 
Bushel  to  the  acre  the  calapooyas  live  exclusively  on  roots  but  whare 
hogs  are  introduced  they  soon  distroy  the  cammerce  fields  these 
extensive  fields  are  allways  on  wet  land  and  in  many  places  no  other 
vegitable  is  found  to  intermix  with  it  Three  of  our  party  arived  at 
our  camp  in  the  evening 

29  Thick  fogy  morning  continued  showery  the  day  thorugh- 
out  rode  out  in  the  evening  saw  some  beautiful  small  vallis  near 
the  mountains       one  of  our  party  killed  a  small  deer 

30  Had  some  sunshine  during  the  day  a  Large  party  of 
Klickatat  Indians  came  from  the  south  and  encamped  near  us  had  a 
view  of  the  Killamook  mountains  in  the  afternoon  the  rise  commencing 
about  four  miles  west  these  mountains  are  low  compared  with  the 
cascades  but  are  verry  ruged  and  covered  with  timber  to  their  tops 

31  The  day  proved  to  be  verry  warm  in  the  low  vally  The 
Indians  our  neigbours  ware  out  early  diging  roots  this  operation  is 
performed  by  sinking  a  strong  hard  stick  in  the  groimd  near  the 


roots  to  be  dug  then  taking  pry  on  the  outer  extemity  of  the  stick 
a  portion  of  earth  containing  frorm  2  to  six  roots  is  taken  up  the  roots 
being  the  size  of  a  small  onion  and  much  resembling  the  onion  in  appear- 
ance They  are  then  washed  and  clensed  a  hole  of  suitable  size  is 
dug  in  the  earth  filled  with  wood  and  stones  after  the  earth  and 
stones  becomes  well  heated  the  fire  is  taken  off  and  a  Layer  of  green 
grass  laid  over  the  hot  stones  the  roots  [are]  piled  on  the  grass  and 
a  Layer  of  grass  laid  over  the  roots  then  a  thin  layer  of  earth  over  the 
whole  and  a  fire  outside  of  all  which  is  kept  up  some  24  hours  when  it 
is  allowed  to  cool  down  and  the  rooots  are  ready  for  use  or  for  drying 
and  putting  away  for  future  use  when  dry  they  keep  for  months  or 

June  the  First  1845  M.  M[oses]  Harris  visited  our  encampment 
Last  night  and  [I]  Received  lettrs  from  my  Esteemed  Friend  Dr  White 
as  Likewise  from  Dr  M<=Laughlin  Both  wishing  me  success  on  my  haz- 
ardous Journey  back  to  the  states  the  acquaintance  I  leave  in  this 
vally  are  but  few  thos  few  However  (are  of)  are  Euqal  to  any  I  have 
ever  found  in  warmth  of  feeling  kindness  and  generosity  with  out  any 
of  that  selfishness  so  often  seen  in  the  States 

2  It  Rained  all  day  in  showers  and  made  camping  verry  dis- 

3  still  continues  to  rain  we  moved  camp  However  for  the 
purpose  of  getting  red  of  our  pilfering  neighbours  the  Klickatats 
crossed  over  the  East  Fork  of  Lickemute  River  and  encamped  near  the 
hills  this  last  stream  is  a  deep  mudy  creek  about  20  yards  wide  and 
we  had  to  carry  our  packs  over  on  a  drift  The  Brances  of  this  stream 
unite  a  few  miles  Below  our  camp  forming  a  large  vally  of  fine  rich 
land  the  stream  uniting  with  the  willhamet  about  8  miles  below 
Both  Branches  of  the  Lukimute  are  bold  and  noble  mill  streams  Tim- 
ber However  is  inconvenient  to  many  fine  farming  tracts  the  oak 
which  abounds  on  the  hills  is  shrubby  and  short  Three  men  arived 
at  camp  making  our  cup  [company]  12  men  strong 

4  The  sun  arose  nearly  clear  and  we  have  the  prospect  of  a  feew 
hours  sun  shine  I  noticed  in  many  places  in  the  hills  that  the  sub- 
strata was  a  formation  of  soft  shelly  rock  or  (or)  indurated  clay  which 
washes  down  by  the  winter  rains  and  becomes  verry  soft  and  impassable 
for  a  horse  bearing  a  man 

rode  out  over  the  hills  s.  E.  of  our  camp  had  an  extensive  view  of 
hill  vally  and  mountain  far  to  the  North  and  East  passed  over  some 
beautiful  farming  Lands  The  day  proved  fair  &  the  grass  became 
dry       some  showers  of  rain  fell   in  the  afternoon      low  grumbling 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1845  151 

thunder  heard  at  a  distance  and  I  think  this  is  the  third  time  I  have 
heard  thunder  in  the  Teritory  as  thender  and  Lightning  is  verry  rare 
From  what  cause  I  cannot  tell  it  may  possibly  be  on  account  of  the 
lowness  of  the  clouds  which  rest  on  the  mountains  and  in  fact  on  the 
earth  even  in  vallies 

5  the  sun  arose  through  a  thick  fog  the  forenoon  was  how- 
ever pleasant  Lighgt  showers  hovered  around  all  the  afternoon  to 
the  west  and  south  rode  out  over  some  beautifull  hills  well  calculated 
for  pasture  land  and  Exhibiting  a  beautifull  veriety  of  Scenery  the 
greate  veriety  however  is  to  be  had  in  many  places  in  this  country  and 
had  nature  given  this  vally  a  pleasant  climate  no  country  in  the  known 
world  could  compare  with  it  for  rural  sceenery  when  the  vallies  shall 
become  grain  fields  and  the  hills  covered  with  flocks  and  herds  of 
Domestic  animals 

6  Drizling  rain  fell  during  the  night  and  still  continues  this 
morning  5  men  and  one  woman  &  three  children  arived  at  our  camp 
During  the  day  rode  out  up  the  vally  and  mounted  an  imenence  from 
which  we  had  a  large  and  magnificent  view  of  the  vally  and  lower 
mountains  the  uper  mountain  being  covered  in  clouds  and  rain 
returned  to  camp  over  beautiful  farming  and  pasture  lands  observed 
quantities  of  wild  pigions  feeding  on  the  grass  seeds  several  kinds  of 
which  are  fully  ripe 

7  Light  showers  of  rain  fell  in  various  directions  around  us  but 
none  on  us  during  the  fore  noon  our  party  continues  collecting  and 
we  have  a  fair  prspect  of  making  a  regular  start  Tomorow  on  our  trip 
to  California 

\Next  to  last  paeel 
Tell  Everhart  to  Bring  ^'b  Tea  and  6  lb  sugar 

I  Last  page] 
Oregon  Territory  March  the  21  [1845] 

2  saddle  Blankets 

S'b  Lead      1  do  Powder 
5  lb  Coffee       10  do  sugar 

3  Trail  Ropes 
1  Pair  Pants 

Leading  Cords 

Cooking  utensils 

Linnen  for  bags  &  sacks 

Leather  for  hopples 

Mockasins  &  soals  &c 

Soap  Fr  John      2  'b  rice 
5  Jb  sugar 
1  Hankf        Blank  Book 


[Inside  back  covert 

Poesy  By  a  Native 
[Clyman  is  suspected  of  being  the  author.] 

The  Firrs  their  length  their  Extreme  hight 
As  yet  remains  in  doubt 
But  Tradition  throws  an  obscur  light 
That  many  had  grown  Quite  out  of  sight 
Ere  Hood  Began  to  Sprout 

An  Address  to  Mount  Hood 

[A  trial  draft  of  the  first  verse,  in  a  somewhat  different  wording,  is  penciled  on  the  inside  front 
cover  of  the  note  book.] 

Say  mighty  peak  of  tremendious  hight  To  shew  that  once  in  Licqid  heat 

What  brot  you  forth  to  etherial  light  The  Earth  had  flowed  a  burning  sheet 

From  Earths  inmost  deepest  woomb  Of  melted  wavering  fire 

Was  central  earth  so  Jam**.,  so  pent  That  animation  Flaming  lay 

That  thou  arose  to  give  it  vent  A  molten  Mixed  wase  rocks  and  clay 

Or  for  some  other  purpose  sent  When  thou  a  bubble  rose  to  play 

A  Monumental  Tomb  Above  the  funeral  pyre 

MAP  2 
Clyman's  route  from  Oregon  to  California  in  1845. 

■i-Sl  ni  fiimoiilfiO  oJ  no^siO  moil  9iuoi  a'nBmxfO 

BOOK  5 


J  Clymans  Memorandum 

June  the  8      1845 

[On  the  Oregon-California  Trail] 

[date]  [miles] 


-  10 


-  16 


-  20 


-  12 


-  IS 

-  To  the  Kalapooya  Mountains 


-  22 

-  across  the  mountains 


-  18 


-  10 

umpuquaw  River 


-  16 


-  16 

Foot  of  the  umquaw  mountau 


-  IS 

across  the  umpquaw  mount 





Rogue^  River 




















[Loose  leaf] 

WiUiam  Wolfscale  [WoIfskUl] 
in  the  Town  of  Purbelo  [Pueblo  of  Los  Angeles] 

John  Warner  same  Place 
Lemuel  J  Carpenter 

Directions  By  Mr  [Joel  P.]  Walker^i^ 

Be  carejull  to  never  camp  in  the  timber  if  it  can  be  avoided.  Be 
carefull  to  never  Let  any  Indians  come  amongt  you  Never  Lit  the 
Indian  have  any  amunition  on  any  account  Keep  careful  watch 
both  day  and  night      Never  neglect  camp  guard  on  any  account 

^^^  Joel  P.  was  a  brother  of  Joseph  R.  Walker,  the  mountaineer.  Besides  be- 
ing the  first  non-missionary  settler  to  bring  an  American  family  into  Oregon  he  had 
already  traveled  the  Oregon-California  trail  twice  and  knew  whereof  he  spoke. 
His  wife,  Mary  Young  Walker,  was  the  first  American  woman  to  come  overland 
into  California.  There  is  a  tradition  in  the  family  that  on  one  of  these  trips  she 
saved  her  children  during  an  Indian  encounter  by  tucking  them  under  her  arms 
and  fording  a  stream  to  the  protection  of  her  husband's  rifle. 


Never  Fire  a  gun  after  (after)  crossing  the  Umqua  mountain  untill 
you  cross  the  siskiew  mountain  perhaps  Five  days  travel  Keep  your- 
selves close  as  possible  in  traveling  through  the  Brush 

Never  scatter  after  game  or  [make]  any  other  division 

Keep  your  guns  the  best  firing  condition 

[Continuation  of  the  Diaries] 

Sunday  June  the  8^^^  1845 —  Cloudy — 

Made  a  finale  start  for  California  our  company  consisting  of  35 
men  one  woman  and  three  children  Left  four  men  at  camp  hunting  for 
a  Lost  Horse  which  ran  away  this  morning  in  a  fright 

Passed  over  a  fine  undulating  country  handsomely  and  thickly 
clothed  with  grass  some  haveing  the  appeareance  of  rye  and  timothy  all 
kinds  However  covered  in  seed  which  [is]  rather  remarkable  for  it  is 
well  Known  to  all  the  western  states  that  but  fewe  of  Prarie  grasses  ever 
bears  seed 

Here  all  the  grasses  are  laden  down  with  seed  and  those  grown  in 
the  oak  Hills  the  more  certain  Had  a  view  of  mount  Jefferson  clothed 
in  everlasting  winter  which  has  grown  into  an  extensive  mountain  of 
considerable  length  The  clouds  blew  of  [f]  and  the  sun  shone  out  as 
we  passed  through  oak  groves  In  the  Evening  the  4  men  left  to  Hunt 
the  lost  animal  came  up  haveing  found  the  Horse  making  our  paty  39 
men  strong  the  day  proved  pleasant  made  10  miles  and  Encamped 
on  a  small  Brook  about  4  miles  from  the  Willhamet  our  path  lea[d]ing 
close  to  the  Killamook 

9  Morning  Clear  the  sun  arose  in  splended  majisty  over  the 
snowy  peaks  of  Mount  Jefferson  The  vally  covered  in  dew  like  a 
rain  passed  through  some  beautifull  country  for  farming  and  Like- 
wise some  very  wet  land  early  in  the  Day  we  came  to  a  small  river 
supposed  to  be  the  Tom  Beoff  found  it  not  fordable  but  after  mean- 
dering up  the  stream  some  4  miles  when  we  found  a  deep  ford  after 
some  plunging  and  swiming  we  all  passed  safely  over  but  we  soon 
found  that  we  had  numerous  branches  of  the  same  stream  yet  to  pass 
all  of  which  ware  deep  and  difficult  to  ford  one  point  on  the  Killa- 
mook mountains  shewed  considerable  of  snow  on  its  summit  this 
peak  stands  near  the  gorge  of  the  Tom  Beoff  and  near  the  vally  made 
about  16  miles  a  large  Prarie  lies  East  of  our  camp  and  it  has  a  fine 
appearance  at  a  distance  Today  we  traveled  through  some  fine  grass 
lands  which  would  be  good  for  mowing  if  hay  was  necessary  the 
vally  on  this  side  of  the  river  dose  not  exceede  10  miles  wide 

10  Clear  Left  our  camp  at  8  oclock  passed  some  fine 
Prarie  lands  and  continued  up  the  south  Branch  of  Tom  Beoff  a  dull 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1845  155 

muddy  stream  nearly  Bank  full  and  not  fordable  crossed  several 
deep  cammace  swamps  and  several  deep  muddy  Brances  of  the  main 
stream  with  difficulty  at  length  we  cleared  the  Tom  Beoff  intirely  and 
assended  the  long  slope  of  a  ridge  had  a  few  miles  of  pleasant  travel- 
ing the  ridge  was  thinly  clad  with  oak  and  pine  our  rout  still  lying 
near  the  Killimook  mountains  we  not  being  able  to  travel  in  the  main 
vally  on  account  of  highness  of  the  waters 

The  country  we  passed  to  day  is  deep  red  clay  on  the  hills  the 
vallys  being  low  and  mostly  wet  The  dry  vally  land  however  is 
verry  rich  Timber  shrubby  oak  and  pine  and  Firr  passed  severall 
beautefull  round  mounds  standing  in  the  main  vally  I  cannot  con- 
jecture how  [they]  came  to  occupy  such  sittuations  unless  at  some  dis- 
tant period  this  vally  formed  a  Lake 

Made  20  miles  and  incamped  on  a  deep  dirty  small  river 

11  The  day  proved  clear  and  fine  and  it  was  all  that  was  pleas- 
ant during  the  day  after  leaving  our  low  over  flown  camp  we  soon 
passed  into  a  dirty  mirey  pomd  for  nearly  a  mile  Belly  deep  to  our 
horses  an  hours  plunging  brought  us  to  a  dry  ridge  of  considerable 
hight  from  which  we  had  a  view  of  nearly  all  of  the  upper  Willhamet 
vally  and  from  apearances  seven  Eights  of  the  level  vally  was  overflown 
during  the  winters  rains  continued  up  a  small  river  our  course  a 
little  west  of  south  made  an  etempt  to  pass  over  the  creek  and  gain 
another  trail  more  easterly  with  considerable  difficulty  we  succeeded 
to  cross  the  stream  after  getting  over  to  our  disapountment  we  foud 
our  selves  on  a  low  sunken  Island  surrounded  by  Byous  and  shoughs 
and  ware  forced  to  cross  back  again  through  the  same  miry  ford  — 
continued  our  course  up  the  stream  through  mud  and  mire  a  low  pine 
ridge  to  our  right  and  large  extensive  marsh  to  our  left  noticed  a 
speces  of  Black  oak  to  day  made  10  miles  and  encamped  on  a  low 
pine  Bluff  near  the  river 

12  after  a  full  examination  of  the  Primises  it  was  determined  to 
carry  all  our  Baggage  over  the  stream  on  dift  [driftwood]  near  our 
camp  and  take  our  animals  about  Four  miles  up  the  stream  and  then 
swim  them  over  it  being  the  nearest  place  that  could  be  found  whare 
our  horses  could  get  either  in  or  out  in  a  few  hours  we  ware  all  packed 
up  and  on  our  way  from  swamp  river  passed  several  miles  of  Pine 
plain  and  came  to  another  dirty  creek  here  we  again  had  to  unpack 
and  carry  on  a  log  the  stream  being  to  deep  and  miry  for  horses  to  pass 
with  packs  on  once  more  under  way  we  entered  the  hills  to  our 
greate  Joy  being  completely  sick  of  level  marshes  and  overflown  val- 
lies.  the  hills  as  usual  in  Oregon  are  covered  with  fine  nutricious  grass 
groves  of  shrubby  oak  and  fine  firr  in  places      made  about  15  miles 


and  encamped  in  the  hills  a  small  party  of  Klickitats  going  north 
came  to  our  camp  while  we  ware  unpacking  our  animals  hills  and 
mountains  have  allways  been  pleasant  to  me  but  I  think  the  hills  at 
this  time  are  unusualy  pleasant  our  course  to  day  being  a  little  East 
of  south 

13  From  a  hill  near  our  camp  last  night  I  had  a  view  of  Mount 
Hood  Mount  Jefferson  and  five  other  snowy  pinicles  south  and  east  of 
Mount  Jefferson  as  likewise  the  umpequaw  mountains  crossing  our 
path  to  the  South  Packed  up  and  moved  on  the  trail  up  the  creek 
after  passing  a  few  miles  of  open  hill  country  we  came  to  a  small  creek 
over  which  we  found  a  (a)  good  and  safe  Bridge  crossed  over  and 
immediately  assended  the  Kalapooya  mountains  this  mountain  is 
thickly  covered  with  Firr  and  ceader  timber  and  underbrush  of  hazel 
dogwood  and  other  Brush 

This  ridge  is  not  high  but  is  verry  steep  in  many  places  and  Formed 
intirely  of  clay  based  on  a  soft  rotten  Bassalt  rock  seen  in  averry  few 
places  only  the  cedar  of  this  country  is  of  a  large  and  verry  fine 
discription  made  22  miles  and  encamped  in  a  narrow  vally  on  one  of 
the  branches  of  the  umquaw  and  near  the  entrance  of  the  umquaw 
vally  the  country  so  far  appears  to  be  much  dryer  than  [the]  vally 
on  the  north  of  the  mountains 

14  Clear  and  still  the  smoke  curling  around  the  half  bar  Hills 
which  seem  to  be  covered  in  Black  taild  deer  Took  the  Trail  again 
soon  crossed  the  Elk  creek  a  stream  about  30  yards  wide  clear  gravely 
bottom  and  sandy  Banks  the  first  we  have  seen  since  we  crossed  Rick- 
reole  this  stream  runs  to  the  S.  W.  and  empties  into  the  Umpquaw 
Prarie  vallies  seem  to  open  out  immediately  below  the  ford 
assendid  up  the  stream  and  up  a  steep  brushy  ridge  but  soon  entered  a 
beautifull  little  vally  streching  away  south  Passed  on  to  the  head  of 
the  vally  crossed  several  ridges  all  covered  more  or  less  in  shrubby 
oak  and  Firr  timber  and  well  grasse"^. 

This  vally  is  quite  uneven  so  far  and  much  more  dry  than  the 
willhamet  vally  and  equally  well  timber^,  and  well  stored  with  game 
such  as  deer  Elk  and  Bear  during  our  progrees  to  day  we  saw  anumber 
of  Indians  peeping  over  the  hills  and  viewing  us  as  we  passed  Made 
18  miles  and  encamped  at  the  Fork  of  a  small  creek  this  appears  to 
be  a  common  encampment  for  all  the  travelers  to  and  from  California 
numerous  ridges  may  be  seen  running  in  all  directions  through  this  part 
of  the  vally 

15  A  number  of  Indians  came  to  our  camp  late  last  night  and  re- 
mained in  camp  during  the  night  of  the  Kalapooya  and  Umpquaw 
tribes      made  an  early  start      soon  crossed  a  considerable  creek  run- 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1845  157 

ning  westward  pased  through  an  uneven  vally  frequently  rising  up 
into  mountains  at  1 1  came  to  the  umpquaw  river  arapid  stream  about 
100  yards  wide  clear  and  cool  with  a  solid  rock  bottom  the  [banks] 
rising  into  mountains  in  many  places  from  the  waters  edge  Hired  an 
Indian  with  his  canoe  to  ferry  our  bagage  over  this  task  he  performed 
to  our  satisfaction  all  got  safely  over  and  encamped  on  the  south  side 
of  the  stream  on  the  open  Prarie  as  this  method  of  encampment  is  much 
the  most  safe  for  a  Party  as  large  as  ours  being  able  to  defend  ourselves 
best  on  the  Praries  or  whare  the  enemy  would  be  exposed  in  making  an 
attact  mad  about  10  miles  Two  Indians  remained  in  camp  last 

16  Before  leaveing  the  umpquaw  I  might  remark  that  the  Hudson 
Bay  company  have  a  trading  house  some  20  miles  below  whare  a  small 
profitable  trade  is  carried  on  From  Information  this  stream  bars  the 
same  character  from  Its  sources  in  the  snowy  butes  of  the  cascades 
that  is  going  Pitching  and  Tumbling  through  the  rock  untill  within  some 
40  miles  of  its  mouth  (its  waters  being  nearly  doubled)  when  it  becomes 
still  and  moves  slowly  and  Quietly  to  the  ocean  through  a  thick  im- 
penetrable forrest  of  lofty  timber  the  Praries  tirminating  whare  the 
rapids  cease  in  abot  one  hours  travel  we  reached  the  south  Branch 
of  umpquaw  a  rapid  stream  much  resembling  the  main  river  passed  up 
over  some  steep  Bluffs  which  raise  into  mountains  the  river  winding 
and  curving  amongst  the  rocks  and  Hills  the  most  bear  of  Timber  which 
are  low  the  higher  covered  in  oak  and  Firr  some  Beautifull  vallies 
are  found  that  look  allmost  like  enchantment  the  rapid  little  river 
Tumbling  along  one  side  rounded  Hills  of  oak  softining  down  to  a  vally 
bounding  the  others  all  covered  in  grass  and  flowers  all  wild  as  natures 
dream  and  covered  with  the  light  bounding  deer       Made  16  miles^^*^ 

1 7  Lift  our  camp  on  the  river  and  proceeded  up  through  a  rough 
ruged  country  passed  several  cliffs  of  rock  closing  down  to  the  waters 
edge  saw  the  blackned  carcase  of  a  dead  Indian  lying  raped  up  in 
his  old  worn  deer  skin  habliments  after  considerable  winding  and 
turning  around  hills  and  pricepces  we  reached  a  beautifull  level  rich 
but  small  vally  lying  on  both  sides  of  the  river  some  4  miles  in  length 
and  ^  mile  wide  reaching  the  head  of  the  vally  the  mountains  closed 
in  so  that  we  had  to  ford  the  river  three  times  in  less  than  two  miles 
the  first  and  second  fords  ware  deep  the  water  rapid  and  the  bottom 
rocky  so  that  nearly  all  our  packs  got  more  or  les  wet  about  three 
oclock  we  encamped  at  the  foot  of  the  umpquaw  mountains  having  made 
16  miles       this  mountain  looks  steep  and  ruged  saw  a  greate  veriety  of 

120  Evidently  the  route  followed  close  to  the  present  line  of  the  Southern  Pa- 
cific Railroad  from  Yoncalla  Creek  to  Roseburg. 


beautiful!  flowers  in  passing  through  this  vally  if  vally  it  can  be  fairly 
calle"^.  saw  several  Beautifull  young  fawns  lying  in  the  grass  during 
the  day  which  did  not  move  by  being  handled 

18  arose  early  we  now  have  to  enter  the  continual  war  nations 
of  Indians  that  inhabit  the  whole  extent  of  country  between  here  and 
California  as  son  as  packd  we  got  on  the  trail  and  commenced 
assending  the  mountain  by  the  way  of  following  a  dim  trail  up  the  steep 
bluffs  and  winding  around  decliveties  of  (of)  the  mountain  after 
much  fatiegue  and  labour  we  assended  the  tumbling  mountain  torrent 
untill  [it]  branched  into  several  smaller  streams  when  we  assended  the 
Point  of  a  mountain  nearly  perpendicular  about  a  mile  high  traversed 
its  narrow  winding  summit  a  short  distance  and  again  decended 
crossed  a  small  mountain  brook  and  scaled  another  mountain  full  as 
steep  as  the  first  but  not  so  high  followed  around  through  brush  and 
logs  a  few  miles  and  again  desended  to  a  fine  small  prarie  whare  we 
encamped  having  traveled  15  miles  of  unaccontable  tiresome  difficult 
road  over  a  high  steep  mountain  covered  with  brush  and  logs  likewise 
firr  and  ceedar  timber  the  streams  run  through  a  rocky  channel  but 
no  rock  is  found  near  the  summt  of  the  ridges 

19  clear  &  warm  passed  down  a  handsome  Brook  with  a  nar- 
row Prarie  vally  running  down  the  north  side  about  6  miles  cross^. 
the  Brook  and  immediately  took  [up]  the  mountain  steep  ruged  and 
Brushy  this  ridge  has  several  snowdrifts  yit  visable  on  its  summit  a 
short  distance  South  of  the  trail  The  desent  was  not  Quite  so  steep 
crossed  a  small  Brook  and  assended  another  mountain  not  Quite  so  high 
as  the  first  but  verry  difficult  on  account  of  the  logs  and  undergrothe 
some  parts  of  these  mountains  have  Beautifull  groves  of  Pine  Firr  and 
cedar  but  apparantly  to  remote  to  be  usefull  Partially  desended  the 
second  to  a  small  cove  and  then  mounted  a  third  high  ridge  at  the 
bottom  of  which  opens  a  small  vally  of  handsome  Prarie  whare  we  en- 
camped haveing  made  about  17  miles  the  first  six  miles  being  nearly 
west  the  latter  part  S  and  S.W.       deer  dose  not  appear  to  be  abundant 

20  Immedeately  after  leaving  camp  we  assended  a  mountain  of  no 
greate  elevation  but  verry  brushy  and  steep  immediatly  on  the 
summit  the  open  country  commenced  with  Pine  openings  and  a  lengthy 
desent  of  dry  hard  gravelly  soil  which  continued  untill  we  reached  the 
river  on  the  whole  the  county  is  rough  poor  and  fobined  [forbid- 
ding?] and  of  little  account  even  the  savages  that  inhabit  this  region 
find  a  scanty  subsistanc  there  being  but  few  roots  which  are  so  abun- 
dant in  the  willhamette  vally  on  our  rout  to  day  we  saw  4  or  5 
squaws  hunting  after  roots  which  ware  much  serprised  to  se  us  so  un- 
expectedly     early  in  the  afternoon  we  reached  the  Clamet  or  Rogues 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1845  159 

River  and  a  number  of  the  savagers  came  to  our  camp  but  as  a  matter 
of  safety  we  would  not  permit  them  into  camp      Made  14  miles 
severa[l]  men  went  to  Examin  the  river  only  a  short  distance  ahead 
several  parties  came  to  our  camp  and  made  every  effort  and  divise  to 
come  into  camp  and  nothing  short  of  a  cocked  rifle  would  prevent 
them      However  we  succeeded  to  keep  them  back  without  violence  and 
they  sung  their  war  songs  in  hearing  of  our  camp  all  night 
Made  16  mile 

2 1  Early  we  ware  on  the  move  the  Indians  close  in  the  rear  we 
soon  unpacked  on  the  bank  of  Rogues  River  this  stream  is  about  100 
yards  wide  running  Rapid  over  a  generally  rocky  Bottom  the  country 
we  passed  over  was  generally  poor  gravelly  hard  and  dry  the  vally 
narrow  and  uneven  the  mountains  dry  parched  and  covered  with 
shrubby  pine  and  several  kinds  of  evergreen  shrubbery  some  of  a  beauti- 
ful! appearance  and  would  grace  a  walk  in  any  city  —  we  hired  two 
Indians  and  their  canoes  who  soon  forried  us  over  the  river  while  we 
stood  with  our  guns  in  our  hands  for  our  defence  about  2  in  the 
afternoon  we  passed  anarrow  point  of  rocks  Juting  in  neare  the  Rivir^^^ 
Capt  [Green]  M'^Mahon  and  seven  or  eighht  men  went  ahead  and 
Examined  the  primises  but  found  no  danger  lurking  there  our  course 
to  day  has  been  East  or  nearly  so  up  the  South  side  of  the  river  which 
came  tumbing  down  impeteously  so  far  the  vally  of  this  stream  is 
thinly  coverd  in  pine  cedar  and  oak  a  new  speeces  of  pine  is  found 
here  haveing  sweet  turpentin  oozeing  forom  it 

22  Immediately  above  our  camp  the  [river]  passes  out  from 
between  two  high  mountains  and  tumbles  down  several  falls  and 
rapids  our  trail  here  left  the  course  of  the  river  and  we  moved  of  [f] 
Easterly  up  a  narro  vally  which  soon  brot  us  in  sight  of  a  Beautiful 
vally  in  which  two  branches  of  the  rive[r]  seem  to  form  a  Junction  and 
Likewise  in  sight  of  several  snowy  peak  one  nearly  east^^^  is  High 
round  &  and  sharp  with  snow  a  long  way  down  its  sides  and  a  Table 
rock^^^  of  considerabl  Hight  the  top  level  and  [said]  to  contain  an 
Indian  vilage  this  is  doubtful  but  it  may  be  a  place  of  safety  in 
seasons  of  danger  Eastwardly  up  this  vally  we  proceeded  and  four  of 
us  that  ware  ahead  missing  the  rout  rode  near  the  mountain  when  4 
Natives  ware  discovered  to  our  left  we  made  chase  and  soon  over- 
took them  in  the  chanel  of  a  dry  Brook  whare  they  crouched  down  and 
gave  up  to  be  shot  as  they  expected  nothing  less      they  proved  to  be 

121  Near  Grants  Pass,  Oregon. 

122  Mount  Pitt. 

123  One  of  the  "Table  Rocks"  near  the  junction  of  Bear  Creek  and  Rogue 


an  old  woman  two  boys  and  one  fine  little  girl  Mr  Frazier  dis- 
mounted and  gave  the  girl  a  biscuit  who  took  it  but  as  soon  as  we 
moved  our  horses  so  that  they  had  an  open  way  they  took  to  there  heels 
again  and  we  rode  on  the  vally  still  widening  and  ranges  of  the  wildes[t] 
and  most  beautiful  Hill[s]  bounded  the  North  side  of  the  vally  these 
hills  rise  in  a  succession  of  rounded  Knolls  one  above  another  generally 
covered  in  grass  but  one  or  two  cliffs  of  rock  make  their  appearance 
traveled  about  20  miles  and  encamped  on  a  small  brook  haveing  several 
snow  drifts  in  sight  toward  the  south^24 

The  natives  of  this  vally  seem  to  have  a  hard  way  of  living  their 
being  no  game  and  but  few  roots  and  when  the  oak  miss  to  bear  they 
live  on  clove [r]  not  unlike  the  pigs  or  domistic  animal  but  when  the 
oak  bears  acorns  they  are  plentifully  supplied  for  the  time  being  in 
the  summer  they  live  on  grass  and  have  no  clothing  Except  a  deer 
skin  or  a  short  apron  of  plated  grass  They  are  the  sworn  Enimies  of 
the  whites  and  would  be  verry  dangerous  had  they  the  use  of  fire  arms 

23  Under  way  Early  and  I  could  not  but  admire  the  varied  di- 
versity of  the  Hills  Lying  to  the  North  some  of  the  advance  came 
suddenly  upon  a  small  party  of  Indians  who  all  ran  but  one  supposed 
to  be  a  chief  who  stood  and  made  signs  about  a  minuet  and  put  out  to 
the  brush  course  still  East  of  south  up  the  vally  about  12  we  be- 
gan to  climb  the  Siskiew  mountain  which  is  not  difficult  nor  steep 
compared  with  some  we  have  passed  near  the  top  of  this  mountain 
is  a  bad  thicket  to  pass  whare  nearly  all  the  parties  passing  this  Trail 
have  been  attacted  several  men  with  Capt  M'^Mahan  went  in  ahead 
and  we  drove  in  our  packed  animals  all  came  through  safe  &  soon 
had  a  view  of  the  country  south  from  the  summit  which  was  wild  and 
awfully  sublime  snow  was  seen  in  more  than  20  places  some  quite 
nigh  and  amongst  the  timber  which  goes  to  shew  that  an  [un]  usual 
Quantity  has  fallen  late  in  the  spring  moved  on  down  the  mountain 
which  is  steep  but  not  difficult       made  25  miles 

24  Left  our  encampment  under  the  Siskiew  mountain  an  pro- 
ceeded down  an  uneven  mountainous  vally^^^  a  south  Easterly  direction 
the  country  gravelly  dry  and  Barren  passed  several  old  Indian  wig- 
wams whar  Quantities  of  acorns  had  been  gathered  last  fall  no  game 
is  to  be  seen  in  this  Region  some  of  our  advance  pursued  a  fale 
[male]  and  female  Native  the  male  made  his  Escape  the  female 
was  taken  and  her  horse  taken  from  her  (M''  Sears  &  Mr  Owens)  Came 
to  the  Clamet  River  a  strong  swift  stream  running  rapidly  over  a  Rocky 

124  Near  Ashland,  Oregon. 

125  Cottonwood  Creek,  in  Siskiyou  County,  California.    The  trail  crossed  the 
Siskiyou  divide  where  the  railroad  now  runs. 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1845  161 

bed  after  some  search  a  ford  was  found  a  short  distance  above  when 
we  all  crossed  over  and  encamped  on  the  South  side  This  river  is 
about  80  yards  wide  and  is  Quite  muddy  from  the  thawings  of  the  snow 
on  the  Mountains  course  S.W  and  appears  to  fall  into  a  deep  Kenyon  a 
short  distance  below  saw  the  recent  marks  of  a  trapping  party  sup- 
posed to  [be]  Indians      Travel  to  day  about  14  miles 

25  Left  our  camp  on  Clamet  River  and  immediately  left  the  River 
the  general  appearant  course  of  the  vally  being  North  of  East  we 
going  South  of  East  passed  a  few  miles  of  rough  rocky  country^^e  ^^hen 
a  fine  level  vally  hove  in  sight  through  which  we  passed  steering  for  a 
Tripple  shaped  high  round  peaked  snowcapd  Montain  known  by  the 
name  of  the  Snowy  Bute^^^  at  about  IS  miles  we  came  to  a  clear 
handsome  small  stream  of  water^^^  running  westward  as  do  all  the  streams 
of  this  region  whare  we  encamped  amidtst  innumerable  swarms  of  fine 
large  Brown  grasshoppers  and  [so]  voraceious  ware  they  that  we  had  to 
baet  them  off  of  our  Baggage  with  sticks  and  when  not  allowed  to  eat 
baggage  the  live  ate  the  dead  greedily  —  and  five  or  six  living  ones 
fought  for  the  body  of  one  ded  one  The  land  of  this  vally  is  dry 
and  barren  lies  very  high  and  is  nearly  surrounded  by  snowcap*  moun- 
tains whose  summits  do  not  appeer  high  above  the  plain 

26  again  under  way  we  passed  through  amidst  a  great  number 
of  round  conicle  peaks  of  rock  standing  out  in  an  uneven  plain  all 
formed  of  rock  Mostly  black  rough  and  poms  some  nearley  as  open  as 
a  riddle  in  the  forenooon  passed  Chesty  River  a  deep  clear  stream 
running  North  of  west  and  probaby  falling  in  to  the  clammet  River 
some  distance  below  Continued  our  course  East  of  South  over  a  rough 
rocky  plain  and  approched  near  the  western  base  of  the  mountain 
came  to  a  clear  Brook  of  water  and  beautifuU  small  green  valley  whare 
we  encamped^^^  haveing  traveled  25  miles  the  high  snowy  Bute  Lies 
S.  E.  of  our  camp  not  Exceeding  15  miles  from  the  everlasting  snow 
saw  recent  marks  of  a  large  trapping  Party  which  cannot  be  far  distant 
from  us      antelope  have  been  tolerable  plenty  for  2  days  past 

27  Concluded  to  remain  in  our  present  camp  to  day  and  rest  our 
animals  as  we  are  informed  that  we  have  an  extremely  rough  country 
to  pass  through  on  our  way  down  the  sacriment  a  large  high  rounded 
rock^^^  can  be  distinctly  seen  which  stands  on  or  near  the  top  of  the 
Siskiew  Mountain  a  few  miles  East  of  the  pass      This  vally  is  no  part 

126  Willow  Creek. 

127  Mount  Shasta. 

128  Little  Shasta  River. 

129  Near  the  present  site  of  Butteville,  in  Shasta  Valley. 

130  Pilot  Knob. 


of  it  fit  for  cultivation  but  is  finely  clothed  in  grass  in  many  places 

but  not  generally 

verry  little  timber  is  found  in  the  vallies       the  mountains  are 

covered  with  pitch  pine  generally  knotty  and  shrubby       game  not 

plenty      The  two  men  that  went  out  this  morning  in  search  of  the 

trapping  party  this  morning  returned  again  in  the  evening  unsuccess- 

fuU       a  Black  conicle  Knob^^^  of  considerable  elivation  seems  to  stand 

in  the  center  of  the  pass  Between  the  Bute^^''^  and  the  point  of  a  Snowy 

28  Left  our  camp  on  Chesty  vally  proceeded  up  some  small 
streams  Isuing  from  a  snowy  mountain  Lying  to  the  west  of  the  trail 
Intered  a  beautifull  pineery  consisting  of  white  or  sugar  and  yallow  pine 
Firr  and  cedar  of  Large  dementions  and  fine  straight  stems  passed 
the  Black  rocky  Bute  close  to  the  East  made  15  miles  and  encamped 
on  a  Limpid  Brook^^^  of  cool  clear  water  comeing  from  the  Snowy  Bute 
and  Being  some  of  the  Extereme  Northwestern  heads  of  the  sacramento 
River  Land  generally  timbered  gravelly  and  poor  several  deer  ware 
seen  and  some  killed  on  the  way  the  snow  on  the  Bute  to  the  East 
seems  to  be  Quite  nigh  and  considerable  Quantities  yet  Lying  some 
distance  below  the  point  of  vegitation  but  this  cannot  be  a  common 
occurrence  or  if  it  is  the  groth  of  Pine  must  be  cool  as  well  as  rapid 

29  Proceeded  down  the  vally  of  the  Sacramento  through  some 
magnificent  Timber  land  some  of  the  finest  I  Ever  beheld  after  some 
hours  travel  we  desended  into  the  vally  of  the  main  river  near  whare  a 
Soda  spring^^*  Issues  out  of  the  East  Bank  of  the  river  But  this 
spring  is  deminutive  in  comparison  to  the  greate  soda  springs  on  Bear 
River  both  as  to  Quality  and  Quantity  not  containing  but  trifling  por- 
tions of  gass  still  it  is  a  fine  pleasant  cool  dr[a]ught  in  a  warm  day 
as  the  present  has  been  the  river  comes  tumbling  down  over  the 
rocks  in  numerous  rapid  whirls  &  is  confined  all  most  to  its  channel  be- 
tween high  mountains  on  either  side  which  rise  verry  steep  and  are 
covered  in  pine  timber  and  underbrush  to  their  summits  generally 
forded  the  river  at  the  soda  springs  and  continued  down  on  the  west 
side  over  steep  Bruff  and  deep  ravines  traveled  20  miles  and  encamped 
on  a  dry  narrow  pine  plain^^''  North  west  of  our  camp  is  an  awfull 
steep  craggy  cliff  of  grey  granite  rock  the  pinecles  of  which  look  as  sharp 
as  Icyceles 

30  Early  on  our  saddles  and  pushing  ahead  on  account  of  the 

131  Sugar  Loaf. 

132  Eddy  Mountain. 

133  Cold  Creek. 

134  Upper  Soda  Spring. 

135  From  here  on,  distances  seem  to  be  much  overestimated 

DIARY,  JULY,  1845  163 

poorness  of  the  grass  and  in  j^  a  mile  we  assended  a  steep  Bluff  of  the 
River  which  was  followed  by  another  and  another  throughout  the 
day  in  fact  we  rode  the  whole  of  20  miles  on  the  steep  side  of 
amountain  crossin  impending  ravines  desending  down  one  side  and 
assending  up  the  oposite  amidst  declivities  of  sharp  rock  some  of  which 
was  a  whitish  grey  granite  and  intermixed  with  Black  slate  standing  in 
a  perpendicular  form  pointing  at  all  who  ware  hardy  enough  to  oppose: 
the  River  tumbling  and  fomeing  down  a  narrow  channel  at  a  desperate 
pitch  of  rapidity  the  day  proved  to  be  verry  warm  in  the  ravine 
along  whose  sides  we  wound  our  tiresome  way  not  a  drop  of  rain 
has  fallen  on  us  since  we  left  the  settlements  on  the  Eighth  of  the 
present  month  but  still  the  mountain  Brooks  are  plenty  and  well 
supplied  with  cool  water 

July  the  First  1845 

The  sun  arose  in  his  strength  and  looked  down  upon  us  in  a  narrow 
confined  spot  near  the  River  the  vegitation  all  dried  Brown  on  the 
earth  our  animals  striving  to  pick  up  a  scanty  subsistance  our  selves 
standing  about  in  groups  and  you  might  hear  the  Question  frequently 
asked  or  other  ways  propounded  (when  will  we  get  out  of  these  moun- 
tains) Started  down  the  river  crossing  a  rough  rocky  Brook^^^  and 
turned  up  the  ridge  missed  the  old  trail  and  followed  the  trail  of  a  recent 
Trapping  party  continued  to  assend  the  mountain  about  4  miles 
when  it  was  concluded  to  Retrace  our  steps  so  turning  around  with 
some  difficulty  on  account  of  narrowness  of  the  ridge  we  came  to  the 
river  again  and  unpacked  our  animals  to  graze  packed  up  and  con- 
tinued down  the  River  some  Indians  came  up  with  the  rear  of  our 
party  and  M""  Sears  shot  two  of  them  our  road  this  afternoon  was 
some  little  beter  than  yesterday  and  we  made  about  18  miles  over  a 
dry  rocky  country  of  a  mixture  of  Slate  and  granite  rock  verry  keen 
and  sharp  for  our  horses  feet  which  are  verry  tender  The  hills  are 
bald  or  thinly  covered  with  pine  timber  intermixed  with  oak  of  several 
kinds  grass  scarce  and  vegitation  light  and  starved  three  Indians 
came  to  camp  in  the  evening  which  ware  soon  sent  away  as  our  camp 

136  Perhaps  Dog  Creek.  The  trapping  party  was  probably  one  that  had 
passed  here  a  few  weeks  before  from  Sutter's  Fort  to  the  discovery  of  the  head- 
waters of  Trinity  River.  Isaac  Cox,  The  Annals  of  Trinity  County,  San  Fran- 
cisco, 1858,  quotes  Major  P.  B.  Reading: 

"In  the  spring  of  1845  I  left  Sutter's  Fort  for  the  purpose  of  trapping  the 
waters  of  Upper  California  and  Oregon.  My  party  consisted  of  thirty  men,  with 
one  hundred  head  of  horsea.  In  the  month  of  May  I  crossed  the  mountains  from 
the  Sacramento  River,  near  a  point  now  called  the  Back-bone;  in  about  twenty 
miles'  travel  reached  the  banks  of  a  large  stream,  which  I  called  the  Trinity,  supn 
posing  it  led  into  Trinity  Bay,  as  marked  on  the  old  Spanish  Charts." 


was  not  a  safe  place  for  savages  there  being  no  controle  of  free  ameri- 
cans  in  this  region 

2  The  grass  was  so  poor  that  we  packed  up  from  the  stake  this 
morning  and  immediately  put  to  the  trail  crossed  several  deep 
ravines  and  at  length  to  cap  all  we  commenced  assending  the  side  of  a 
nearly  perpendicular  mountain  composed  of  slate  and  granite  an 
hours  sweating  puffing  and  blowing  brought  us  to  the  sharp  top  when 
we  commenced  desending  on  the  other  side  which  was  worse  if  pos- 
sible another  hour  brot  us  to  the  bottom  again  whare  we  found  a 
small  uneven  bottom  large  enough  to  graze  our  animals  an  hour  on  a 
scanty  supply  of  grass  and  wood  enough  to  prepare  our  Breakfast  1 7 

Immedeately  commenced  assending  another  mountain  the  steepest 
I  ever  saw  for  hoses  to  climb  But  we  made  the  summit  at  last  by  taking 
zig  zag  sheers  back  and  forth  over  the  rough  rocks  and  through  the 
Brush  in  fact  it  was  almost  to  steep  for  brush  to  grow  continued 
along  the  ridge  which  was  composed  of  Slate  set  edge  wise  and  in  many 
places  too  narrow  for  a  Rabbit  to  walk  over  in  such  places  we  had  to 
desend  along  the  perpendicular  sides  whare  a  precareous  foot  hold  could 
be  found  for  a  few  animals  in  the  decomposed  rock  that  had  tumbled 
from  the  higher  parts  at  a  late  hour  in  the  afternoon  we  dsended  on 
to  a  small  brook  rumiing  through  a  Kenyon  you  could  see  the  water 
but  not  taste  it      some  few  miles  below  we  campd 

3  Again  we  saddled  at  the  stake  and  took  down  the  creek  and 
soon  came  to  [the  Sacramento]  river  which  had  more  than  doubled  its 
waters  since  we  left  it  yestarday  but  still  running  through  a  norrow 
confined  rocky  channel  onnpacked  for  Breakfast  Before  we  pack- 
ed up  several  Indians  ware  seen  across  the  river  and  several  guns  fired 
at  long  shot  across  the  River  and  eventually  one  killed 

[A  half  page  blank] 

After  packing  we  again  took  to  the  Rocky  hills  the  greate  vally 
in  plain  view  from  the  hills  has  occasionally  (has)  been  seen  for 
several  days  all  anxious  to  leave  the  Eternal  mountains  urged 
our  Jaded  animals  to  thier  utmost  capabilities  and  about  Three  in  the 
afternoon  we  entered  the  lower  vally  of  the  sacramento  and  threw 
ourselves  under  the  shad  of  the  wide  spreading  oak  Trees  that  stand 
scattered  promisquesly  over  this  vally^^'^ 

The  earth  seemed  to  be  verry  dry  for  the  season  and  as  might  be 
expected  the  weather  we  found  to  be  warm  our  Travel  to  day  20 

137  Near  Redding.     The  trail  missed  the  mouth  of  Pit  River,  evidently  by 
crossing  the  ridge  northeast  of  Back  Bone  Creek, 

DIARY,  JULY,  1845  16$ 

[A  half  page  blank] 

July  the  4*^^  1845  again  we  ware  on  the  march  a  few  miles  of 
midling  country  broughte  [us]  to  a  small  River  shortly  after  crossing 
of  which  we  bore  to  the  right  across  a  range  of  gravelly  hills  covered 
in  thorn  Bushis  and  bearing  no  grass  no[r]  much  vigetation  of  any 
[kind]  that  canbe  usefull  two  or  three  hours  ride  brot  us  to  another 
smal  river  runing  over  a  gravel  and  rocky  bed  on  this  we  encamped 
having  traveled  about  20  miles^^^ 

5  Took  across  the  ridges  again  found  them  gravelly  poor  and 
hard  course  a  little  west  of  south  about  noon  we  came  to  the  river 
again  Quite  Enlarged  and  the  shores  lined  with  willow  and  Sycamore 
soil  appearantly  dry  but  saw  several  patches  of  wild  oats  now  ripe  and 
mostly  d[r]oped  off  the  straw  has  the  exact  appearance  of  the  cul- 
tevated  of  the  states  but  the  grain  or  berry  is  dark  brown  and  covered 
with  a  thick  fuzzy  film  snowey  mountains  can  be  seen  from  this 
vally  in  all  directions  except  south  some  Quite  large  and  high  others 
small  Travel  to  day  16  miles  and  encamped  on  the  River  most  of 
the  vegitation  grown  and  dry  and  considerable  of  it  rotten  the  days 
we  found  verry  warm  and  the  nights  warm  also 

6  Left  our  camp  on  the  river  and  took  down  the  plain  some 
miles  from  the  river  the  praries  [are]  hard  clay  mixed  with  water 
worn  gravel  mostly  granite  and  rough  white  flint  and  thinly  covered  in 
grass  which  is  (is)  generally  short  passed  several  chanels  of  dry 
Brooks  some  of  considerable  width  passed  one  running  stream  of 
water  deeply  sunk  in  loose  gravel  Banks  some  fine  grazing  lands 
lying  adjacent  but  no  timbr  fit  for  mechanicle  purposess  the  vege- 
tation to  day  completely  dry  and  mostly  Burned  off  smokes  ware 
raising  in  all  directions  from  the  grass  being  on  fire  Travel  to  day 
28  miles  encamped  near  a  hole  of  stagnent  water  standing  in  the 
channel  of  a  dry  Brook  the  vally  here  is  Quite  large  and  the  moun- 
tains compartivly  Low 

7  Loft  our  dry  camp  on  dry  creek  and  took  down  the  plain  over 

138  In  conversation  with  Ivan  Petroff  in  1878,  Clyman  related  their  method  of 
celebrating  the  fourth  of  July: 

"On  this  our  national  holiday  a  brutal  and  disgraceful  occurrence  took  place. 
Some  Indians  vi^ere  seen  across  the  river  and  Mr  Sears  proposed  to  kill  one  of  them 
single-handed  if  his  comrades  would  keep  him  covered  with  their  guns.  They 
agreed  and  he  started  out  armed  only  with  his  bowie  knife.  After  swimming 
across  he  encountered  an  Indian,  who  had  been  firing  at  him  from  behind  a  rock 
without  effect.  They  grappled  and  Sears  stabbed  his  man  to  death  and  then  re- 
turned safe  and  sound  across  the  river.  I  was  so  disgusted  with  this  affair  at  the 
time  that  I  did  not  enter  it  in  my  notes" — Ivan  Petroff 's  abstract  of  Clyman' s 
Note  Book,  MS.  Bancroft  Library. 

Franklin  Sears,  who  lived  at  Sonoma  for  many  years,  said  that  this  duel  of 
his  occurred  at  Red  Bluff. 


a  hard  gravelly  surface  at  a  rapid  rate  of  Travelling  for  Broken  down 
animals  the  day  was  cool  and  cloudy  passed  some  appearantly 
good  soil  in  the  afternoon  and  several  large  patches  or  fields  of  wild 
oats  the  straw  still  standing  but  (but)  the  grain  mostly  droped  out 
Turned  in  and  encamped  on  a  misserable  Slough  of  Bad  water  near  the 
river  shortly  after  we  unsaddled  it  commenced  raining  and  [rained] 
steadily  all  night  a  Large  village  of  Natives  was  in  hearing  across  the 
pond  but  as  they  remained  at  home  themselves  we  did  not  visit  them 
Our  travel  to  day  being  30  miles  near  and  about  our  camp  is  a  groth 
of  Large  shrubby  oak  of  the  white  oak  spices  during  the  day  we 
crossd  a  fine  small  river  of  running  water  in  a  deep  gravelly  Bed 

8  Continued  raining  but  we  saddled  and  started  through  the 
rain  passed  over  beautifull  level  prarie  near  the  timber  and  about 
10  oclock  it  Broke  away  and  ceased  raining  about  one  oclock  the 
prarie  appeared  nearly  black  with  Indians  to  our  left  but  only  one 
approached  near  us  who  spoke  bad  Spanish  and  we  still  worse  so  we 
had  but  little  conversation  and  continued  our  rout  and  shortley  turned 
in  to  the  river  and  encamped  haveing  travelled  20  miles  of  level  loose 
country  along  our  rout  Found  it  verry  difficult  to  water  our  animals 
at  the  river  on  account  of  the  Loose  and  soft  nature  of  the  banks  and 
bottom  the  day  was  cool  and  pleasant  after  the  rain  which  Likewise 
softened  the  Earth  and  made  it  pleasant  travelling.  the  male  natives 
of  all  this  region  that  I  have  yet  seen  go  entirely  naked 

9  A  cool  pleasant  day  after  the  rain  we  ware  early  on  our 
saddles  and  steered  for  a  gap  in  the  mountain  a  southwest  direction 
over  a  level  prarie  which  from  appearances  is  some  times  covered  in- 
tirely  by  water  but  is  dry  and  firm  at  present  about  2  in  the  afternoon 
we  reached  the  channel  of  a  dry  creek  much  disapointed  as  our  selves 
and  animals  ware  very  thirsty  and  fatigued  no  alternative  was  left 
us  but  to  push  forward  to  a  pount  of  timber  about  15  miles  ahead  so 
on  we  urged  our  Jaded  animals  and  reached  a  small  brook  of  water  about 
sundown  and  encamped  our  guide  thought  he  knew  the  place  an 
rode  out  to  look  for  the  settlements  and  in  an  hour  returned  with  a  Mr 
Sumner  [Owen  Sumner  Jr.]  whose  father  was  with  us  Let  our  animals 
run  loose  for  the  first  time  and  all  lay  down  and  slept  Quietly  and 
sound  under  the  spreading  oak  trees      40  miles 

10  At  an  Early  hour  we  ware  visited  by  a  Mr  [William]  Knight 
who  informed  us  that  the  country  was  in  a  verry  unsettled  state  there 
haveing  been  a  kind  of  Revelution  or  Rebellion  during  the  v/inter  and 
spring  and  that  the  govornor  had  been  driven  out  of  the  province  but 
was  now  returning  with  a  strong  force  to  reinstate  matters  on  a  more 
firm  Base  than  heretofore      Mr  Wolfscale  [John  Wolfskill]  and  several 

DIARY,  JULY,  1845  167 

Other  american  gentlemen  visited  our  camp  during  the  fore  noon 
could  not  ditermine  what  course  to  pursue  in  this  unsettled  state  of 
publick  affairs  all  concluded  to  remain  in  our  present  camp  to  day 
and  rest  ourselves  and  animals  in  the  afternoon  M'"  Wolfscale 
Butchered  a  Beef  and  kindly  invited  all  of  us  to  take  what  we  wished 
without  money  and  without  price  so  that  the  evening  was  spent  in 
feasting  on  the  fattest  kind  of  Beef 

11  on  account  of  our  animals  we  remain  in  our  present  camp 
to  day  to  give  them  rest  many  of  our  company  are  much  discouraged 
at  the  report  of  the  dullness  of  all  kinds  of  Buisness  as  they  Expected 
to  find  immediate  employ  at  high  wages 

[Back  Cover] 
[date]  [miles] 
8   —    10  From  Jays  to  the  Callapooya  mont 


10  —    20 

11  —    12 

12  —    22  across  the  Mount 

13  —    18 


[There  are  also  some  calculations  of  time  and  distance  traveled,  indicating  an 
average  of  17  miles  a  day  for  22  days.] 


BOOK  6 

[Gordon  Ranch  to  Napa  Valley] 

July  the  12^*1  1845 

Several  of  our  party  packed  up  aand  left  for  Capt  Suitors  a  strong 

doba  or  mud  walled  fort  about  40  miles  East       It  is  said  that  Captain 

Suitor  is  likewise  an  alcalda  or  Justice  of  the  peace  and  has  the  right 

to  grant  passports       for  my  own  part  I  have  come  to  the  conclusion 

to  go  down  the  North  side  of  the  Bay  of  saint  Francisco  to  Sonoma  in 

a  few  days  and  see  what  Buisiness  may  be  found  in  that  direction 

[Sutter  to  Larkin  regarding  the  Oregon  Immigration] 

[Larkin   Documents  III,   220.     Bancroft  Library] 

New  Helvetia  75'*  JtUy  1845. 
Thomas  O.  Larkin  Esq^^  in  Monterey 
Dear  Sir! 

.  .  .  I  send  you  a  News  paper  from  St:  Louis  send  to  me  over  the 
Rockey  Mountains,  with  a  somewhat  exagerated  description  of  Califor- 
nia. The  Company  which  arrived  the  10^^  inst^  from  the  Oregon  con- 
sists out  3Q  Men,  i  Widow  and  3  Children  of  which  I  send  you  inclosed 
a  list. 

All  of  this  people  have  a  descent  appearance  and  some  very  useful 
Men  amongs  them  some  of  them  will  remain  here,  and  the  Majority 
will  spred  over  the  whole  Country  like  usual,  a  good  Many  will  come 
to  Monterey  and  present  themselves  to  you,  I  give  them  passports,  and 
give  Notice  to  the  Government.  I  received  a  letter  which  informes  me 
that  in  about  6  or  8  Weeks  an  othre  Compy.  will  arrive  here  direct  from 
the  U.  S.  a  very  large  Company  more  as  1000  Souls,  family s  from  Ken- 
tucky and  Ohio  and  a  good  Many  young  enterprizing  Gentlemen  with 
some  Capital  to  improve  the  Country,  under  lead  of  L.  W.  Hastings 
Esq^^  of  whom  I  received  some  letters  which  informed  me  of  this  Ar- 
rival, I  am  looking  for  them  in  about  8  or  10  weeks  from  Now,  I  am 
very  glad  that  they  meet  with  some  good  Pilots  at  fort  Hall,  people 
who  went  over  there  from  here,  to  pilot  Emigrants  the  new  Wagon 
road  which  was  found  right  down  on  Bearcreek  on  my  farm. 

I  am  so  much  engaged  at  present  thai  it  is  impossible  to  write  you 
a  better  letter,  and  I  shall  embrace  the  Opportunity  by  ilf .  Williams 
who  will  leave  from  here  to  Monterey  in  about  5  or  6  days. 
I  remain  very  respectfully 
Most  Obedient  Servant 

I  send  you  now  the  whole  History  of  the  last  Revolution  concerning 
the  foreigners  etc. 


[Sutter's  list  of  the  Oregon  Immigrants] 

[Larkin  Documents  III,  215.     Bancroft  Library] 

Names  or  the  Emigrants  from  the  Oregon 

ARRIVED  HERE  THE    lO'h  OF  JULY    184S. 

[Samuel]  Green  Mc  Mahon  (Capt.  of  the  Comp'e.)  farmer U.  S. 

Owen  Sumner Hatter  D"  " 

Js  Clyman  farmer    Do" 

L.[azarus]  Everhart  .Taylor D"  " 

[R.  K.]  Payne farmer Do" 

[Marion]  Gibson  Do  "  Do  " 

[James  B.?]   Barret Do"  Do" 

[Franklin]  Sears Blacksmith    Do  " 

[Martin]   Brown  farmer Do  " 

Buchanan    Carpenter  &  Wagonmaker Do  " 

Hibbler  [George  Hibler] farmer Do  " 

Huet  [Adam  Hewett?] Do"   D 

[Hiram]    Acres   Do  "  Do  " 

A.  Frazler  [Abner  Frazer] Carpenter  Do" 

W™  Frazier  [Frazer] farmer „ Do  " 

F.[ranz]  Lichtenstein Soap  Maker  &  Chandler Germany 

Ths  Owens farmer  U.S. 

Ed.  Owens Do  "  Do  " 

Sipp    Ship  Carpenter  Do" 

M. [orris  or  Moses]  R.  Childers Cabinet  Maker  &  Carpf Do  " 

[James]  Houck  farmer Do  " 

[James?]  Hays  [or  Hayes?] Do"  Do" 

Chace  [S.  U.  Chasei39] Do"  Do" 

Tharp  [Lindy  or  Lindsey  Thorp] Do"  Do" 

[Benjamin]   Carpenter  Do"  Do" 

[William]   Bartel  Do"  Do" 

Le  Noir  [Lenoir] Hatter    France 

[St.  Vrain]  Durand Sawer Canada 

H.[enry]  Owens farmer  U.  S. 

James  Owens  Do"  Do" 

John  Owens  Do  "  Do  " 

W'Ji  Northgrave  Do  "  Do  " 

A. [lien]  Sanders Blacksmith  U.  S. 

James  W.  Marshal[l]  i^o Coachmaker  &  Carpf Do  " 

J.  Cockram  [Thomas  Cochran] farmer Do" 

[Joseph  H.]   Davis Sailor   Do" 

Duncan    .farmer  Do  " 

Purky  [J.  D.  Perkey] Saddler  Do" 

J.  Ilig  [John  Ellig] Shoemaker    Germany 

Mrs  Payne  (Widow  and  3  ChUdreni" U.  S. 

[McMahon,  the  captain,  was  said  to  have  been  in  California  in  1841  with 
the  Bidwell  party.  Owen  Sumner,  who  came  from  Arkansas,  arrived  in  Oregon 
in  1842  with  Elijah  White.  The  others,  as  far  as  known,  had  come  across  the 
plains  in  '43  and  '44. 

Of  these  forty  wandering  adventurers  only  twelve  are  known  to  have  re- 
mained in  California.  At  least  that  many  of  the  others  returned  to  Oregon  the 
next  year,  and  Owen  Sumner  accompanied  Clyman  to  the  States  in  '46. 

Several  members  of  this  company  served  the  next  year  in  Fremont's  California 
Battalion.  Marshall,  Perkey,  Northgrave  and  Sanders  went  to  work  for  Sutter. 
McMahon  and  Thorp  settled  permanently  near  Gordon's  ranch.] 

i^'^  Chase  furnished  a  list  of  the  members  of  Clyman's  party,  printed  in  The 
Illustrated  Atlas  and  History  of  Yolo  County,  San  Francisco:  DePue  and  Com- 
pany, 1879,  p.  86.    Chase  speaks  of  Clyman  as  the  captain. 

14*^  The  next  mention  of  Marshall,  famous  for  his  discovery  of  gold,  is 
found  in  the  New  Helvetia  Diary,  Oct.  25,  1845  et  seq.,  MS.  Bancroft  Library. 

141  Mrs.  Payne  was  the  daughter  of  Owen  Sumner,  the  elder,  who  was  with 
the  party.    She  was  married  the  next  year  to  R.  K.  Payne. 


[Continuation  of  the  Diaries] 

In  the  afternoon  moved  about  2  miles  up  to  Mr  [William]  Gordons 
who  is  the  only  perminant  settler  on  this  (this  Cash)  [Cache]  creek 
we  found  here  two  other  american  gentlemen  to  [w]it  Mr  Wolfscale  and 
Mr  Knight  M''  Wolfscale^"*^  it  appears  had  lately  been  dispossed  of  a 
very  valuable  Ranche  or  farm  some  12  miles  south  of  this  and  had  his 
herds  here  by  the  pemission  of  Mr  Gordon 

13  Several  of  us  started  down  the  North  side  of  the  Bay  of  St 
Fracisco  passed  over  dry  level  prarie  about  1 2  miles  the  day  being 
Extremely  warm  I  took  a  sun  pain  in  my  head  which  almost  prevented 
me  from  being  able  to  ride  for  several  hours  passed  the  nearly  dry 
channel  of  asmall  river  [Putah  Creek]  the  water  yet  remaining  being 
allmost  scalding  hot  as  it  came  slowly  ripling  down  over  a  hot  gravelly 
bed  saw  Quite  a  larg  stock  of  cattle  and  Horses  roaming  through  the 
vally  of  this  creek  Eight  miles  further  on  we  came  to  some  handsom 
little  cornfields  without  any  fenc  Except  the  Indians  who  watch  the 
stock  (stock)  from  the  grain  after  leaving  this  ranch  [Berreyessa] 
we  entered  an  oats  field  of  wild  oats  as  far  as  the  eye  could  extend 
the  whole  country  was  thickly  set  in  well  grown  oats  straw  the  grain 
having  droped  off  Toward  sundown  the  Mokitoes  made  a  general 
and  simultanious  attact  on  ourselves  and  animals  and  although  I  had 
fought  mosketois  through  the  wabash  Illinois  and  Missisippi  vallies 
yet  I  never  met  with  such  a  Quantity  of  Blood  thirsty  animals  in  any 
country  as  we  found  here  your  mouth  nose  Ears  Eyse  and  every 
other  assailable  point  had  its  thousand  Enemies  striving  which  should 
be  formost  in  their  thirst  for  Blood  we  continued  to  urge  our  animals 
on  in  hopes  to  pass  the  main  army  and  so  continued  whipping  spurring 
and  cursing  across  the  vally  up  a  rocky  steep  mountain  the  muske- 
toes  ware  still  ahead  down  the  opposite  side  of  the  mountain  across 
another  vally  and  up  the  steep  sides  of  a  higher  mountain  the  enemy 
still  met  us  in  innumerable  swarms  and  so  continued  to  the  topmost 
pinicl  of  the  mountain  whare  tired  exhausted  and  fatigued  we  at  length 
about  midnight  lay  down  to  sleep  in  the  best  way  we  might  a  thick 
fog  hung  over  the  mountain  in  the  morning  but  the  Mosketoes  ware 
still  there  and  so  remained  when  we  left 

14  Left  our  Mosketoe  camp  on  top  of  the  mountain  and  desended 
in  to  a  small  handsome  vally  covered  with  stocks  of  cattle  and  Horses 
changed  our  course  to  the  west  passed  a  low  range  of  hills  and  arived 

142  A  sketch  of  "Uncle  John"  Wolfskill  appears  in  Ann.  Publ.  Southern  Calif. 
Hist.  Society,  1897,  pp.  12-17.  See  also  The  History  of  Solano  County,  San  Fran- 
cisco: Thompson  and  West,  1878. 

DIARY,  JULY,  1S45  171 

at  Mr  [George  C]  younts^^^  ranch  or  farm  on  a  small  stream  nmning 
a  saw  and  grist  mill  her  we  sat  down  to  a  Breakfast  of  good  mutton 
and  coffee  having  rode  60  miles  without  food  and  mostly  without  water 

15  Remained  with  our  hospitable  host  Mr  Yount  who  thought  we 
had  better  stay  to  day  and  rest  our  animals 

Here  I  witnessed  the  Mexican  manner  of  taking  in  wheat  Harvest 
a  sufficiant  number  of  Indians  are  sent  out  with  a  rough  kind  of  sickle 
who  reap  the  wheat  the  squaws  and  others  gather  the  grain  up  and 
pack  it  on  their  backs  to  a  spot  of  ground  ready  prepared  for  threshing 
whare  the  grain  [is]  lain  down  with  the  heads  up  an  left  to  dry  a  day 
or  two  when  a  lot  of  wild  horses  is  let  in  and  the  grain  thrashed  out 

16  Left  Mr  Younts  with  a  M"".  Hartgrove  [William  Hargrave]  for 
the  purpose  of  returning  to  Mr  gordons  again  by  a  mountain  Rout  and 
Escape  the  den  of  muschetoes  on  our  former  rout 

Took  a  northern  direction  up  the  vally  of  the  creek  on  which  Mr 
Younts  mills  are  situated  5  or  6  miles  above  passed  the  farm  house 
of  Dr.  Bales  [Edward  Turner  Bale]  this  hous  looked  desolate  Enough 
standing  on  a  dry  plane  near  a  dry  Black  vocanic  mountain  allmost 
destitute  of  (of)  vegitation  no  fields  garden  or  any  kind  of  culti- 
vation to  be  seen  and  about  10  or  12  Indians  lying  naked  in  the  scorch- 
ing sun  finished  the  scenery  of  this  rural  domain 

Continued  our  rout  up  the  [Napa]  vally  Early  in  the  after- 
noon arived  at  Mr  [Benjamin]  Kelseys  Hunting  camp  whare  we  found 
plenty  of  fine  fat  venison  here  we  took  up  lodgings  for  the  night 
the  whole  of  this  small  valey  is  strewn  with  obsidian  pmmice  stone  and 
Black  slag  and  other  remains  of  volcanoes  which  have  existed  at  some 
remote  period 

17  Left  our  hospitable  hunters  camp  and  proceeded  up  the  vally 
about  3  miles  to  another  hunters  camp  found  Mrs  Kelsey  a  fine 
Looking  woman  at  camp  with  her  two  little  daughters  it  appears 
that  they  had  occupied  their  present  camp  only  over  night  Mr  Kelsey 
being  out  with  his  gun  soon  returned  with  his  hose  laden  down  with 
the  tallow  and  fat  of  two  large  Buck  Elk  that  he  had  Slaughtered 
during  the  morning  the  Kettle  was  hung  ower  the  fire  and  we  soon 
had  a  plentifull  meal  of  the  fattest  Kind  of  Elk  meat  bothe  roast  and 
stewed  in  the  evening  thre  of  us  took  our  Rifles  and  walked  to  the 
hills  in  about  two  hours  we  returned  haveing  killed  three  fine  Black 
tailed  Bucks  the  Evening  was  spent  in  telling  hunting  stories  and 
roasting  and  packing  venison  ribs 

143  George  Yount's  reminiscences  were  published  in  Calij.  Hist.  Soc.  Quarterly, 
vol.  2,  no.  1,  April,  1923. 


18  Left  Mr  Kelseys  camp  on  my  return  to  Mr  Gordons  crosse 
the  narrow  vally  and  assended  a  rough  volcanic  mountain  saw  a 
number  of  deer  that  frequently  stood  gazing  at  us  in  easy  Rifle  shot 
distance  about  noon  we  had  crossed  the  fourth  mountain  none  being 
more  than  2  hours  ride  across  stoped  to  rest  and  graze  on  sooteers 
[Putah]  River  now  Quite  a  small  stream  here  we  regaled  ourselves 
on  the  Marrow  bones  of  a  deer  that  we  had  shot  60  or  80  rods  from 
the  water  and  we  might  have  killed  8  or  10  had  we  spent  the  amimition 
during  the  fore  noon  In  the  afternoon  we  set  forward  again  soon 
crossed  over  a  narrow  vally  and  commenced  assending  a  steep  high 
mountain  in  about  2  hours  strugling  our  animals  reached  the  ruged 
summit  when  we  immediately  commenced  the  desent  which  was  much 
longer  and  rougher  than  the  assent  but  not  so  steep  I  must  remark 
that  the  mountains  are  Utterly  cowered  with  deer  and  Bear  theer  are 
seen  at  a  great  distance  winding  around  the  steep  precipices  and  Bear 
roads  are  generally  passable  for  a  Spanish  horse  or  mule 

19  Encamped  last  night  6  miles  from  Mr  Gordons  and  rode  in  for 
Breakfast  here  we  Feasted  on  the  ribs  of  a  fat  antelope  after 
Breakfast  commenced  desending  the  great  plain  west  of  the  Saccre- 
mento  which  is  as  level  as  a  pond  appearantly  and  from  10  to  20  miles 
wid  on  the  west  of  the  river  but  no  water  found  at  this  season  of  the 
year  passed  several  miles  through  a  pleasant  oak  grove  to  near  the 
[Sacramento]  river  whare  we  encamped  here  we  found  the  mos- 
ketoes  so  thick  that  it  was  nerely  imposible  to  breathe  without  being 
strangled  with  them  There  being  a  large  tuly  or  rush  swamp  about 
half  a  mile  from  the  river  these  rush  swamps  are  common  to  this 
vally  large  streams  of  water  come  tumbling  down  from  the  moun- 
tains soon  loose  themselves  in  the  vally  and  spreading  in  all  directions 
form  extensive  lakes  of  water  after  the  rains  cease  to  fall  the  lakes 
begin  to  dry  up  and  the  earth  partially  dry  sends  up  an  immence 
groth  of  weeds  and  rushes  so  high  and  strong  that  a  horse  is  unable 
to  breake  through 

20  Left  our  Musketoe  camp  on  the  river  proceeded  along  the 
narrow  strip  of  land  deviding  the  river  from  the  rush  swamp  the 
rushes  in  many  places  being  15  feet  in  hight  and  thicker  than  I  ever 
saw  hemp  grow  we  continued  following  this  strip  of  land  untill  we 
reached  the  Landing  oposite  Suitors  fort  whare  we  encamped  the 
Sacramento  river  here  is  upward  of  200  yards  wide  deep  and  nav- 
igable      the  tide  water  ebbing  and  flowing  about  three  feet 

21  Crossed  over  the  river  by  swiming  our  animals  and  crossing 
our  baggage  in  a  light  whale  Boat  that  was  kept  here  by  some  of  capt 
Suitors  Indians       Suitors  fort  is  built  of  doba  or  large  unbumt  brick 

DIARY,  JULY,  1845  173 

and  has  an  imposing  appearance  at  a  distance  standing  on  an  Ele- 
vated plain  a  few  miles  below  the  Junction  of  the  American  Fork  with 
the  Sacreminto  and  Surrounded  by  wheat  fields  which  have  yielded  a 
good  crop  of  wheat  this  present  season  but  have  born  nothing  for  two 
crops  past  but  on  a  nearer  inspection  it  is  found  that  the  whole  Fort 
houses  and  all  are  built  of  doba  or  mud  walls  and  covered  in  side  and 
out  with  dust  and  fleas  which  grow  her  to  the  gratest  perfection  The 
Capt  keeps  600  or  800  Indians  in  a  complete  state  of  Slavery  and  as 
I  had  the  mortification  of  seeing  them  dine  I  may  give  ashort  discrij>- 
tion  10  or  15  Troughs  3  or  4  feet  long  ware  brought  out  of  the  cook 
room  and  seated  in  the  Broiling  sun  all  the  Lobourers  grate  and  small 
ran  to  the  troughs  like  somany  pigs  and  feed  thenselves  with  their  hands 
as  long  as  the  troughs  contain  even  a  moisture^** 

[Fort  Sutter  to  Monterey] 

22  Left  our  camp  on  the  creek  an  proceeded  south  over  a  dry  level 
plain  without  timber  or  grass  about  10  miles  when  we  came  to  the 
channel  of  a  dry  creek  some  pools  of  standing  water  ware  found 
after  pasing  our  dry  creek  passed  over  a  shrubby  oak  plain  about  8 
miles  to  a  smal  river  running  over  sandy  bed  and  nearly  swiming 
deep  crossed  over  with  some  difficulty  and  encamped  on  the  South 
side  so  far  we  have  seen  but  little  land  fit  for  cultivation  of  any 
discription  the  high  lands  being  poor  and  liable  to  anual  drougths  of  a 
verry  severe  kind  the  lowlands  are  anually  over  flown  to  a  greate 
depth  during  the  rainy  season 

23  our  not  being  able  to  obtain  any  meat  of  capt  Sutter  kept  us 
travilling  and  hunting  being  again  dependant  on  our  Rifles  for  a 
living  passed  a  dry  sandy  oak  plain  of  about  18  miles  across  we 
came  to  the  low  marshy  lands  bordering  the  head  of  the  St  Francisco 
bay  up  which  we  passed  to  the  head  of  a  deep  navigable  ceek  or  Slough 
whare  we  encamped  haveing  nothing  better  than  the  warm  stagnant 
warm  Slough  water  to  use  this  parte  of  the  country  would  afford  a 
few  ranches  for  stock  but  is  not  inhabited  on  account  of  a  warlike  tribe 
of  Indians  that  range  over  it  and  follow  robbing  stealing  and  sometimes 
murdering  all  the  inhabitants  and  frequently  travellers  that  pass  or 
remain  here  any  length  of  time 

24  Remaind  in  camp  to  day  for  the  purpose  of  hunting  Elk  and 
antelope  in  wluch  we  succeeded  but  moderately 

25  Took  jp  the  line  of  march  across  a  dry  hard  level  plain  8  miles 

1^4  John  Konry  Brown  was  about  this  time  engaged  as  overseer  of  Sutter's 
cook-house  ani  butcher-shop.  In  his  book,  Reminiscences  and  Incidents  (San 
Francisco:  188),  Brown  makes  similar  comments  upon  the  table  manners  of  the 


a  large  rush  swamp  lying  to  our  right  appearantly  without  any  tir- 
mination  and  only  bounded  by  the  Bay  after  passing  a  few  miles  of 
rush  swamp  we  reached  the  north  Bank  of  the  St  Waukien  [San  Joaquin 
River]  over  which  we  passed  on  rafts  made  of  Rushes  this  river  has 
a  S.E.  and  N.W.  direction  Traveled  about  6  miles  down  the  South 
side  of  the  river  to  a  deep  navigable  Bayau  whare  we  encamped  and 
feasted  largely  on  the  fattest  kind  of  Buck  Elk  flesh  which  was  killed 
near  the  camp  and  was  in  a  manner  all  tallow 

the  St  Waukien  is  over  200  yards  wide  and  deep  and  navigable  run- 
ning through  a  large  dry  level  plain  Utterly  covered  with  Elk  and  wild 
horses  a  Tribe  of  Indians  reside  on  the  river  who  hold  indisputable 
possession  of  the  country  &  steal  &  kill 

26  crossed  the  plian  about  10  miles  wide  to  the  Mountain  saw 
several  herds  of  wild  Horses  an  Elek  one  herd  of  Elk  had  a  grand 
appearance  containing  more  than  2000  Two  thousand  head  and  covering 
the  plain  for  more  than  a  mile  in  length  crossed  a  low  bare  range  of 
mountains  and  soon  came  to  Mr  [Robert]  Livermores  farm  or 
Ranche  made  30  miles  and  encamped  at  a  ranche  Belonging  to  a  Mixi- 
can  [Antonio  Maria  Sufiol]  who  with  his  Indian  slaves  ware  Slaugh- 
tering cattle  for  the  hides  and  tallow  and  a  more  filthy  stinking  place 
could  not  be  easily  immagined  The  carcases  of  2  or  300  cattle  haled 
20  rods  from  the  slaughter  ground  and  left  to  the  vultures  wolves  and 
Bears  several  of  the  latter  ware  seen  feeding  or  silently  moveing  off 
to  the  mountains  at  early  dawn  in  the  morning  The  common  price 
of  fat  cattle  is  estimated  at  Eight  dollars  Two  dollars  for  the  hide 
and  six  dollars  for  the  tallow  all  in  Trade  cash  is  not  Expected  and 
not  often  demanded 

27  We  frequently  ride  20  miles  without  a  drop  of  water  and  most 
of  the  water  found  is  in  stagnant  pools  covered  with  a  thick  skum  of 
green  vegetable  matter  now  in  full  Bloom  Left  our  Slaughter  yard 
camp  and  proceeded  down  the  course  of  a  stagnent  pool  for  some  miles 
when  we  crossed  over  the  dry  channel  of  a  Broad  Creek  and  assended 
a  mountain  by  a  verry  good  pass  had  a  fair  view  of  Pawblaw  Bay^*^ 
anarm  of  the  Bay  of  St  Francisco  on  the  immediate  discent  from  the 
mountain  wacame  in  sight  of  the  formerly  flurishing  mission  of  St 
Joseph  [San  Jose]  this  mission  in  its  best  days  must  have  contained 
several  Hundred  in  mates  the  whole  establishment  Houses  fences 
church  and  all  is  built  of  doba 

These  Missions  ware  Established  some  70  years  since  and  occupy 
the  choeise  sittuations  in  the  country  and  have  fine  vinyards  and  Fruit 

145  Obviously  San  Francisco  Bay,  not  San  Pablo  Bay. 

DIARY,  JULY,  1845  175 

orchards  such  as  Figs  pears  peaches  &c  &c  but  I  do  not  recollect 
seeing  any  apple  Trees  or  apples  Tobacco  cotton  or  sweet  potatoes 
it  is  said  do  not  thrive  well  in  this  climate  and  in  fact  I  do  not  hear  of 
any  grain  or  vegitables  that  do  well  Except  wheat  Barly  or  some  grains 
that  mature  Early  in  the  season  before  the  dough  [drought]  sets  in 
which  usually  commences  in  may  or  June 

The  Mexicans  do  not  labour  themselves  the  native  Indians  per- 
form all  the  labour  and  are  kept  in  slavery  much  like  the  Negroes  of 
the  Southern  states  but  not  worked  so  steady  or  hard  as  all  depend 
largely  on  their  cattle  stock  for  support  and  some  fine  Blankets  are 
Here  manufactured  from  the  wool  of  their  sheep  The  Mexican  Ladies 
when  they  ride  out  alone  mount  a  mans  saddle  in  the  same  manner  their 
husband  would  but  frequently  the  husband  takes  his  wife  on  before 
him  and  takes  hold  of  the  logerhead  of  his  saddle  with  his  arms  around 
his  bride  and  this  method  looks  Quite  loveing  and  kind  and  might  be 
relished  by  the  single 

28  Left  our  camp  at  purbelow  village  [pueblo  of  San  Jose]  and 
took  up  a  fine  narrow  vally  [Santa  Clara  Valley]  in  a  Southern  direc- 
tion this  vally  has  the  appearance  of  being  good  soil  of  a  lieght 
yallow  complection  But  no  cultivation  is  seen  larger  than  a  good  sized 
vegetable  garden  This  vally  is  in  many  places  completely  covered 
over  with  the  bones  of  cattle  that  have  been  slaughtered  from  tine 
to  time  along  the  way  and  has  been  at  sone  time  a  regular  settlement 
the  old  mud  walls  of  cottages  are  stil  seen  standing  but  later  seasons 
seem  to  have  been  dryer  than  formerly  &  the  want  of  water  has  driven 
the  inhabitants  to  a  more  moist  region 

The  Indians  Likewise  have  become  more  bold  and  troublesome 
driveing  of  [f]  their  stock  continually  at  least  such  as  happen  to  range 
in  the  mountains  and  the  more  unfrequented  places  and  we  ware  told 
that  a  large  herd  of  horses  ware  driven  off  from  the  hills  in  sight  of  our 
camp  three  days  since 

29  The  vallies  ware  wraped  in  a  white  fog  the  sun  however  arose 
in  greate  force  and  splender  and  soon  disperced  the  smoke  &  fog 
Passed  down  a  vally  somewat  more  fertile  crossed  some  narrow  ridges 
and  (and)  came  in  sight  of  the  Mision  of  St  Johns  [San  Juan  Bautista] 
with  its  mud  walled  out  buildings  and  fences  of  the  same  meterial. 
here  lay  scattered  about  numerous  small  com  fields  Bean  and  mellon 
patches  some  Indians  ware  in  a  wheat  or  Barly  field  reaping  the 
straw  and  grain  dry  as  powder  left  the  church  and  princeple  mis- 
sion vinyards  to  the  left  and  assended  a  high  range  of  hills  from  the 
summit  of  which  we  caught  a  glanc  through  the  fog  of  the  Broad  Pacific 
ocean  or  rather  the  North  side  of  St  Cruz  Inlet  and  a  broad  plain 

30  c>ca^^'^  &'vcxr  ^^^^'^"'^^ 

Oy,^    Mr,^   ^a^  ^^  ^^   ^^^^^ 

Facsimile  of  a  page  of  Book  6  of  James  Clyman's  diaries. 
The  enti-y  is  that  of  July  30,  1845. 

DIARY,  JULY,  1845  177 

through  which  a  small  river  passes  along  the  south  side  water  seems 
to  be  the  greate  dissideratum  in  this  dry  arid  region  and  whare  ever 
you  find  even  a  stagnant  pool  of  Brackish  water  you  find  a  small  mud 
walled  cottage  a  Mixican  and  half  a  dozen  Indians  with  their  stock 
of  cattle  and  horses  they  never  leave  ther  horses  uless  they  lay  down 
to  sleep 

30  Left  our  camp  on  the  small  [Salinas]  River  and  proceeded 
over  a  dry  deep  sand  plain  to  Monteray  Lying  on  the  South  East  pount 
of  the  Santa  Cruz  inlet  The  capitol  of  California  has  a  dingy  Black 
dirty  appearanc  owing  to  the  Houses  being  built  mostly  of  Doha  or 
unburt  brick  and  covered  with  tile  the  Town  contains  perhaps  80 
or  100  houses  and  Hovels  of  all  kinds  and  discriptions  no  fresh 
[water]  is  found  but  what  is  obtained  from  wells  and  that  is  Quite 
brackish  the  Mexican  flag  was  seen  flying  near  the  dwelling  of  the 
commandant  and  the  Stars  and  stripes  at  the  house  of  Mr  Larkins 
[Thomas  O.  Larkin]  the  amirican  counsel  as  Likewise  from  Two  ships 
in  the  Harbour  The  sloop  of  war  warren  commanded  by  Cap*  [Joseph 
B.]  Hull  and  the  California  of  Boston  cap*  Arthur  [James  P.  Arther] 
we  rode  to  Dr  Townsends  [John  Townsend^^^]  an  amercans  who  came 
from  the  States  by  land  last  season  whare  we  put  up  found  the  Dr  a 
good  feeling  man  much  attached  to  his  own.  oppinions  as  likiwise  to  the 
climate  and  country  of  California  his  [wife]  a  pleasant  lady  does 
not  enter  into  all  of  her  husbands  chimerical  speculations  Called  on 
Mr  Thomas  O  Larkins  the  consul  and  dilivered  him  all  the  various 
letters  and  documents  intrusted  to  m}'  care^^^  but  owing  to  the  wreck- 
ing of  a  Brittish  merchant  vesel  on  the  coast  some  six  miles  south  Mr 
Larkins  time  was  completely  occupied  in  endeavouring  to  save  what 

146  Cf.  Geo.  D.  Lyman,  Calif.  Hist.  Soc.  Quarterly,  vol.  4,  no.  2,  July,  1925, 
pp.  170-72  and  portrait. 

14"^  See  p.  147,  for  Larkin's  answer  to  WTiite. 

The  letter  from  Elijah  White  to  Larkin  regarding  the  Hedding  murder  is  con- 
tained in  Loi'kin  Docs.  Ill,  155,  Bancroft  Library.  Writing  from  Oregon,  White 

As  this  unhappy  affair  agetates  and  embarrasses  our  relations  with  too  large 
a  portion  of  the  aborigines  of  this  country  for  a  Moments  Safety  to  us  in  our 
weak  and  defenceless  condition,  I  can  but  hope  and  pray  You  will  give  Me  Your 
cheerful  cooperation  in  assisting  to  get  it  adjusted  upon  the  princeples  of  equity 
and  justice. 

For  farther  information  upon  this  painful  affair  I  with  pleasure  refer  You 
to  M>'  Clyman  who  has  kindly  proffered  to  render  us  every  service  in  his  power 
in  getting  the  Matter  Satisfactorily  adjusted. 

Could  the  Murderer  be  givin  up  and  Safely  forward  to  Me  I  have  No  doubt 
but  this  would  be  the  surest  and  Safest  Manner  to  dispose  of  the  affair — but 
Sir  as  this  May  be  impracticable  I  with  pleasure  and  confidence,  leave  the  whole 
Matter  in  the  hands  of  Yourself  and  M^  Clyman  for  adjustment  and  rectification 
Not  doubting  but  You  will  do  every  thing  in  Your  power  to  bring  it  as  Speedily 
as  possible  to  the  happiest  possible  issue. 


property  might  be  saved  so  that  I  had  but  little  conversation  with 

a  low  range  of  hills  run  south  of  the  town  covered  thinly  [with] 
pine  timber  and  rising  in  to  steep  high  mountains  toward  the  East 

1  saw  but  few  Ladies  in  the  streets  perhaps  on  account  of  the  greate 
Quantity  of  dust  and  sand  that  is  seen  in  every  direction  The  Eng- 
Ish  Language  is  spoken  here  more  or  less  by  most  of  the  inhabitants 
Indians  Excepted  There  may  be  some  place  called  the  fort  intended 
for  the  protection  of  the  Town  or  harbour  but  I  was  nt  fortunate 
Enough  to  find  that  spot  I  saw  however  several  small  pieces  of  small 
cannon  mounted  in  the  Prison  yard  or  rather  on  the  commons  near 
the  prison  The  cliffs  around  the  harbour  are  of  redish  grey  granite 
in  a  state  of  dcomposition  some  stone  however  is  used  in  the  foundation 
of  some  of  the  houses  of  a  white  colour  and  nearly  light  Enough  to  swim 

{Monterey  to  Napa  Valley] 

31  Left  Monteray  and  took  back  northward  to  Santa  Cruz  whare 
we  arived  in  the  Evening  of  (of)  the  First  of  August 

Santa  Cruz  is  likewise  an  old  mission  establishment  and  occupies 
a  beautifuU  situation  about  2  miles  from  the  coast  and  has  some  fine 
spring  of  water  from  which  the  fathers  draw  their  water  to  Erigate  their 

This  place  is  likewise  dignified  by  the  name  of  a  village  scattered 
along  the  steep  bluffs  of  a  small  stream  the  low  grounds  have  a  num- 
ber of  half  cultivated  gardens  as  is  usual  through  all  Mexican  coun- 
trys  The  Mexicans  nor  Foreighners  never  Labour  in  province  Except 
Mchanicks  all  the  out  doors  labour  is  performed  by  the  native  In- 
dians who  are  kept  in  a  state  of  slaveery  and  recieve  no  pay  Except 
what  their  masters  choose  to  give  them  they  are  a  Lazy  indolent  race 
and  nearly  and  Quite  naked  those  who  are  house  servants  excepted 
which  if  females  ware  a  long  chimise  the  climate  indeed  dose  not 
seem  to  require  clothing  at  this  season  of  the  year  Except  it  may  be 
to  keep  the  scorching  sun  from  blistering  but  in  this  the  natives  are 
proof  against  any  common  Heate 

2  &  3  of  August  remained  with  the  far  famed  and  redoubtable 
Cap*  [Isaac]  Graham  The  hero  of  Mr.  [Thomas  J.]  Famhams  travels 
in  California  and  in  fact  the  hero  of  six  or  seven  revolutions  in  this 
province  and  the  chivalrous  captain  has  again  during  the  last  winter 
passed  through  the  ordeal  of  one  more  revolution  and  again  been  a 

148  This  was  the  schooner  Star  of  the  West,  Captain  Atherton,  wrecked  on  the 
rocks  off  Point  Lobos  on  the  night  of  July  27.  The  destitute  survivors  were 
forced  to  depend  upon  Larkin's  generosity.  See  Larkin's  Official  Correspondence, 
no.  46  et  seq.,  Bancroft  Library. 

DIARY,  AUGUST,  1845  179 

prisoner  in  the  hands  of  his  old  Enimy  Colonel  Castro  the  Eex  gov- 
omor  and  has  once  more  returned  to  his  peacable  domicil  to  his  heards 
and  his  [saw]  mill  surrounded  by  impassable  mountains  about  Eight 
miles  from  the  Landing  of  Santa  Cruz  and  if  report  be  correct  the 
hardy  vetrian  is  fast  softning  down  and  he  is  about  to  cast  away  the 
deathly  rifle  and  the  unerring  tomahawk  for  the  soft  smiles  of  a 
female  companion  to  nurrish  him  in  his  old  age^*^  and  here  I  must 
say  that  the  captain  has  all  the  Philanthropy  and  Kindneess  for  his 
country  men  that  has  ever  been  attributed  to  him  Inviting  me  to  re- 
turn and  remain  with  him  free  of  cost  as  long  as  I  might  find  it  con- 
vinient  or  as  long  as  I  wished  to  remain  in  California. 

4  I  Left  capt  Grahams  with  many  invitations  to  call  again  before 
leaveing  California  we  took  a  small  difficult  bridle  way  that  [led] 
across  a  verry  rugged  mountain  for  Santa  Clare  and  the  village  Puebla 
[of  San  Jose]  whare  we  arived  in  the  Evening  Two  days  previous 
to  our  arival  the  mountain  Indians  had  made  a  desent  upon  Santa 
Clare  killed  one  and  wounded  two  of  the  horse  guard  and  stolen  a 
herd  of  Horses  and  the  inhabitants  ware  in  pursuit  of  the  Murderers 
in  the  mountain  we  had  Just  passed  through  we  came  through  how- 
ever without  seeing  either  party  and  slept  soundly  with  Mr  Weaver 
[Charles  M.  Weber]  (a  german  who  speaks  good  Eenglish)  in  the  vil- 
lage of  Puabla  and  in  the  morning  of  the 

5  we  left  our  kind  and  hospitable  entertainer  and  bent  our  course 
north  along  that  arm  of  the  Bay  of  St  Francisco  which  communicates 
with  the  Mission  of  Santa  Clara  in  our  way  down  we  passed  over 
a  beautiful  tract  of  land  well  stoccked  with  herds  of  cattle  and  a  ranche 
or  farm  was  to  be  seen  in  every  place  whare  Living  water  could  be 
found  this  tract  or  vally  however  is  verry  dry  and  water  scarce  (that 
is  fresh  water) 

In  the  Evening  of  the  Sixth  we  reached  Penola  [Pinole]  or  the 
[Carquinez]  Straits  or  narrows  of  the  Bay  of  St  Francisco  whare  we 
encamped  for  the  night  a  Californian  [Ignacio  Martinez]  who  owns 
the  ranche  or  farm  on  the  South  side  of  the  Bay  keeps  a  Boat  and  with 
the  assistance  of  his  Boat  we  crossed  over  in  the  afternoon  of  the 

7  in  this  we  had  the  mots  tiresome  and  Longest  swim  for  our  mules 
that  I  had  so  far  seen  the  wind  and  tide  both  setting  up  the  bay  which 
is  here  about  a  mile  wide  it  carried  us  up  the  Bay  more  than  Two 
miles  before  we  ware  able  to  land  and  we  ware  certainly  more  than  2 

149  Graham  was  living  with  Catherine  Bennett.  Larkln  made  unsuccessful 
efforts  to  have  the  girl  taken  away.  Perhaps  the  authorities  in  Santa  Cruz  stood 
in  awe  of  the  doughty  Captain,  who  was  noted  for  his  bravado.  See  Larkin's 
Official  Correspondence,  no.  59,  et  seg.,  Bancroft  Library. 


hours  making  the  passage  These  narrows  are  formed  by  a  range  of 
bare  rocky  hills  or  mountains  running  North  across  the  vally  and 
Bay  we  found  fresh  water  scarce  through  all  this  region  But  cattle 
appear  to  do  better  and  get  fatter  on  brackish  water  than  on  good 
clear  spring  water  on  our  passage  out  of  the  narrows  we  observed 
greate  and  Extensive  Bull  Rush  marches  lying  to  the  west  of  our 
trail  to  a  greate  distance 

8  We  arived  at  Mr  Younts  again  on  Napper  creek  completely 
satisfied  with  travelling  through  California  for  in  28  days  travel  mostly 
through  the  Spanish  settlments  we  never  found  one  grain  of  food  for 
our  animals  and  only  three  places  whare  we  slept  in  houses  and  these 
three  owned  by  foreigners  There  is  no  such  thing  as  a  tavern  in 
California  as  I  am  informed.  The  settlements  being  thin  and  widely 
scattered  you  scarcely  ever  find  two  farmsers  approach  nearer  than  five 
miles  of  each  other  in  fact  the  cultivation  of  the  soil  is  but  verry 
little  attended  to  by  even  the  americans  in  this  country  large  herds 
of  cattle  seem  to  be  all  that  a  californian  desires  and  those  large  herds 
require  space  to  g[r]aze  upon  so  that  from  six  to  12  miles  square  forms 
a  common  ranche  or  farm  some  place  is  then  sought  then  whare 
living  water  can  be  obtained  here  a  small  doba  or  mud  walled  cot- 
tage is  erected  covered  with  grass  tile  or  shingles  as  the  case  may  be 
without  either  floors  or  windows  Tables  chairs  or  any  other  furniture 
one  or  two  hundred  head  of  young  cattle  and  fifteen  or  20  head  of 
Horses  and  you  are  prepared  for  becomeing  rich  in  process  of  time  and 
living  a  true  California  life 

If  However  you  have  a  disposition  to  eat  bread  with  your  beef  all 
you  have  to  do  is  to  cut  out  a  suitable  branch  from  some  crooked  oak 
and  with  an  axe  hew  it  in  to  convenient  form  nail  a  small  piece  of 
Iron  on  the  lower  projecting  extemity  hitch  a  yoke  of  cattle  to  the 
forward  end  lay  hold  of  the  other  end  with  your  hands  and  you  have 
what  is  used  for  a  plow  this  instrument  however  does  not  either 
cut  or  turn  the  soil  but  merely  roots  a  narrow  streak  whare  it  is  drawn 
but  with  this  kind  of  cultivation  I  am  told  that  the  yield  is  frequently 
on  some  of  the  best  spots  from  50  to  100  fold  of  wheat  (Barly  or  peas 
not  so  much)  corn  or  other  vegitables  requiring  the  whole  of  the 
summer  season  to  mature  in  must  be  planted  near  some  conviniant 
brook  whare  the  water  can  be  let  on  one  in  Ten  days  or  oftener  to 
supply  the  want  of  rain  in  the  latter  part  of  the  season  and  this 
irigating  plan  is  required  throughout  the  whole  of  California  or  nearly 
so  to  produce  any  kind  of  grain  or  vegitables  that  do  not  mature  by 
the  first  of  July  the  native  grasses  and  weeds  being  all  dry  by  that 
time  and  the  Praries  frequently  burnt  over  by  that  time      I  immagine 

DIARY,  AUGUST,  1845  181 

that  but  few  americans  would  like  the  county  or  the  people  or  any 
thing  they  may  find  at  first  sight  unless  it  be  the  fine  fat  Beef  which 
is  used  and  wasted  here  in  the  greatest  profusion  and  every  Calli- 
fomian  foreighner  or  native  has  plenty  of  fresh  beef  to  his  table  if  he 
has  such  a  piece  of  furniture  at  all  times  corned  Beef  is  seldom  found 
and  salt  never  as  there  is  no  part  of  the  season  cool  Enough  to  salt 
Beef  a  kind  of  Jerked  or  dried  Beef  is  generally  used  by  the  Indians 
but  their  Laziness  and  negligence  prevents  it  from  being  any  thing 
like  good  and  they  would  rather  dig  roots  for  a  precarious  subsistance 
for  half  the  year  than  to  take  the  trouble  of  making  good  dried  meat 
to  live  on  and  through  this  nigligent  and  careless  habit  hundres  of' 
Tuns  of  the  fattest  kind  of  Beef  is  wasted  every  season  in  californi? 
alone,  and  in  fact  the  want  of  a  little  cooler  season  is  a  greate  draw- 
back on  the  productions  of  the  county  there  being  no  time  cool  Enough 
to  salt  Beef  so  as  to  save  it  well  at  sea  allthough  nearly  every  califomian 
will  tell  you  to  theat  is  [it]  has  not  been  thouroughly  tested  and  if  it 
is  left  to  them  it  never  will  be  tested  Judging  from  appearances 
Beans  is  one  of  the  regular  crops  of  the  califomians  and  beef  and  beans 
foms  one  of  their  favorite  dishes  Red  pepper  is  likewise  cultivated 
largely  and  enters  in  to  all  their  cookery  in  greate  profusion.  I  do 
not  believe  that  Tobacco  Cotton  or  sweet  potatoes  do  well  as  I  have 
seen  niether  growing  in  any  part  of  this  region  allthough  their  is  Quite 
a  veriety  of  climate  found  here 

[The  rest  of  this  page  and  the  following  page  are  blank.] 

14  Left  Mr  Younts  and  went  up  the  vally  of  Napper  creek  to 
some  hunters  camps  with  the  intention  of  haveing  some  sport  arived 
in  the  Evening  at  Mr  Kelseys  camp  which  was  well  supplied  with 
fine  fat  venison  and  Elk  meat  plenty  of  Bear  in  the  neighbourhood 
but  they  are  not  fat  at  [this]  season  of  the  year  and  so  are  not  hunted 

15  Got  a  horse  of  Mr  Kelsey  and  rode  out  after  Breakfast  to  see 
what  game  might  be  seen  after  rideing  in  the  hills  some  2  miles  and 
starting  several  deer  whuch  ran  off  I  discovered  two  deer  lying  under 
the  shade  of  a  Tree  dismounted  and  in  approching  them  one  of  them 
discovered  me  and  sprang  to  his  feet  I  brought  my  rifle  to  bear  on 
him  and  fired  he  sprang  off  in  greate  haste  and  in  a  fuw  bounds  was 
out  of  sight  reloded  and  as  the  other  was  not  alarmed  I  crawled 
nigher  and  rising  to  my  feet  I  distinctly  saw  his  Eears  and  one  eye 
taking  deliberate  aim  for  his  eye  I  pulld  trigger  the  deer  sprang 
and  bounded  End  wise  side  ways  &  in  fact  in  all  directions  haveing 
his  brains  shot  out  Reloded  and  walked  over  the  ridge  to  see  what 
had  bcome  of  the  other  I  heard  a  desperate  screaming  and  squalling 
in  that  direction  and  on  a  nerer  approach  a  discovered  a  large  she 


Bear  had  got  my  deer  in  possession  and  the  squalling  proceeded  from 
three  others  Two  cubs  and  a  yearling  which  ware  contending  for  a 
portion  of  the  venison  the  old  she  snapping  and  Boxing  them  whenever 
they  approached  she  soon  turned  the  vital  part  of  her  front  to  me 
and  the  keen  crack  of  my  rifle  told  her  the  tale  of  death  The  others 
not  at  all  intimidated  soon  fell  to  tearing  devouring  and  Quarelling 
over  the  carcase  of  the  deer  again  I  soon  ramed  down  another  ball 
and  taking  aim  at  the  yearling  brought  her  to  the  earth  with  many  a 
growl  and  struggle  she  died  tearing  the  brush  with  her  teeth  and 
claws  I  then  laid  down  my  rifle  as  the  cubs  had  become  frightned 
and  fled  into  the  brush  in  walking  down  to  whare  the  farthest  one 
lay  however  the  cubs  raised  the  yell  and  came  back  in  Quest  of  their 
dam  and  I  had  to  give  way  and  give  them  a  free  passage  I  thought 
however  I  could  frighten  them  and  cutting  a  good  cudgel  advanced  on 
them  in  turn  but  they  gave  every  symtom  of  fight  short  of  laying  hold 
of  me  and  I  had  to  retreat  the  second  time  as  soon  as  an  oppertunity 
occurred  I  caught  my  rifle  again  and  promised  distruction  to  the  intire 
family  of  bears  but  in  my  greate  hury  to  load  I  put  down  a  ball  without 
powder  and  after  several  fruitless  attempts  to  kill  the  cubs  I  was  forced 
from  the  field  of  battle  and  left  the  bears  in  full  possession  of  the  venison 

16  Mr  Kelsey  rode  out  withe  me  in  to  a  small  cove  in  the  moim- 
tains  whare  we  had  rare  sport  shooting  deer  Bringing  in  nine  skins  in 
the  Evening  the  most  of  the  meat  being  left  on  the  ground  for  the 
wolves  and  vultures  and  of  the  latter  the  county  seems  to  be  remarkbly 
well  stocked  Beside  the  raven  and  turky  Buzzard  of  the  states  you 
see  here  the  royal  vulture  in  greate  abundance  frequently  measureing 
Fourteen  feet  from  the  extremity  of  one  wing  to  the  extemity  of  the 

1 7  Hunted  again  with  poor  success  killing  but  Four  deer 

18  Five  deer  came  in  to  camp  three  of  which  I  brought  in  myself 
From  the  18  to  the 

22  we  assisted  in  building  and  covering  a  cabbin  as  it  [is]  soon  Ex- 
pected that  (it)  the  early  showers  of  rain  will  commence  falling  some 
fog  appeared  on  the  mountains  this  morning 

23  Continues  beautiful  weather  warm  through  the  day  and  cool 
nights       the  wheat  harvest  finished 

25  started  for  Suitors  Fort  on  the  sacramento  River  we  ware 
interupted  considerably  last  night  by  two  large  bear  that  made  several 
attempts  to  take  our  venison  laying  on  a  log  fifteen  or  20  feet  from 
the  fire — 

1^0  xhis  is  stretching  it  considerablj',  even  for  the  California  condor.    Condors 
are  now  rare  and  are  not  known  to  exceed  ten  feet  in  total  spread  of  wings. 

DIARY,  AUGUST,  1845  183 

26  crossed  several  steep  ruged  mountains  these  ridges  forming 
the  mountains  over  which  we  passed  seem  to  have  been  shot  up  from 
the  East  and  stand  in  greate  regularity  at  an  angle  of  50  or  60  degrees 
with  the  Horizon  and  are  generally  dry  haveing  but  few  springs  of  living 
water  in  them 

27  at  Mr  gordons — 

28  I  was  lucky  enough  to  find  my  horses  again  that  I  had  left 
running  at  large  Mr  Gordon  Recieved  a  small  box  of  sugar  cane  from 
the  Sandwich  Islands  and  is  about  to  try  the  Experiment  of  growing 
sugar  in  this  vally  but  I  immagine  he  will  find  this  country  to  dry  for 
the  cultivation  of  sugar — 

31  Returned  yestarday  the  day  being  Extremely  warm  and  we 
rode  60  miles  between  sun  and  sun  over  a  verry  rough  mountainous  road 
but  this  is  not  an  uncommon  dys  ride  for  the  inhabitants  of  [this] 
country  80,  90  and  even  100  miles  is  sometimes  performed  on  the  same 
horse  without  food  or  rest 

[September]  the  first  1845  Extreme  warm  weather  the  parched 
rocks  and  Eearth  reflect  an  intense  heat  the  rivers  and  small  streams 
failling  rapidly 

Sunday  the  8**^  of  Septembr  was  Quite  warm  rode  out  over 
the  hills  taking  my  rifle  withe  me  had  Quite  a  veriety  of  shooting 
Killed  5  Deer  one  large  grissled  Bear  one  wild  cat  and  a  Royal  vul- 
ture this  is  the  largest  fowl  I  have  yet  seen  measuring  when  full 
grown  full  14  feet  from  the  extemity  of  one  wing  to  the  extemity  of  the 
other  Like  all  the  vulture  tribe  this  fowl  feeds  on  dead  carcases  but 
like  the  Bald  Eagle  prefers  his  meat  fresh  and  unputrefied  they  seem 
[to]  hover  over  these  mountains  in  greate  numbers  are  never  at  the 
least  fault  for  their  prey  but  move  directly  and  rapidly  to  the  carcase 
cutting  the  wind  with  their  wings  and  creating  a  Buzzing  sound  which 
may  [be]  heard  at  a  miles  distance  and  making  one  or  two  curves  they 
immediately  alight  and  commence  glutting 


A  Note 

The  only  long  gap  in  the  Clyman  Diaries  occurs  during  the  months 
of  September,  October  and  November  of  1845,  when  Clyman  visited 
San  Francisco.  Two  documents  relating  to  this  period  survive.  The 
first  is  a  petition,  signed  by  Clyman  and  sixteen  others,  addressed  to 
Larkin  and  urging  him  to  protect  the  foreign  residents  of  San  Francisco 
against  disorders  arising  on  account  of  an  assault  on  the  person  of 
Captain  Elliott  Libbey  of  the  American  Ship  Tasso.  Captain  Libbey 
and  Nathan  Spear  had  been  set  upon  in  the  streets  of  San  Francisco  by 
the  citizens'  patrol  and  the  Captain  received  severe  knife  wounds  which 
endangered  his  life.  The  attackers  belonged  to  native  families  promi- 
nent in  the  town,  and  it  was  feared  that  the  guilty  persons  would  not  be 
brought  to  trial.  The  petitioners  asked  that  the  American  Sloop  of 
War  Levant  should  remain  in  the  Bay  and  prepare  to  assist.  Larkin 
forwarded  this  petition  to  Commander  Hugh  N.  Page  of  the  Levant 
with  the  request  that  his  ship  remain  in  the  harbor  in  order  to  accelerate 
proceedings  against  the  criminals.^^^ 

The  second  document  is  a  short  answer  by  Larkin  to  a  letter  of 
Qy man's  in  which  information  is  requested  as  to  what  had  been  done 
regarding  the  murder  of  the  Walla  Walla  Indian,  Elijah  Hedding.  As 
this  completes  the  records  of  the  Hedding  affair,  given  elsewhere  in  this 
narrative,  it  is  quoted  here. 

[Larkin  to  Clyman  regarding  the  Hedding  Affair] 
[Larkin's  Official  Correspondence,  I,  No.  65.     Bancroft  Library] 

San  Francisco,  October  29,  1845. 
Consulate  of  the   United  States 

In  answer  to  your  request  for  injormation  in  what  I  have  done  in 
the  case  of  the  North  West  Indian,  against  Grove  Cook,  of  the  United 
States  now  living  in  this  Department:  I  have  to  say,  that  from  the 
representation  made  by  Sub  Agent,  White,  to  his  Department  in 
Washington,  I  sent  a  copy  to  Governor  Pico  of  California,  which  has 
been  translated,  I  also  offered  my  services  to  him  in  the  affair;  when  I 
left  my  Constdar  House  the  former  month,  no  answer  had  been  received 
from  Governor  Pico. 

An  account  of  my  proceedings  I  wrote  to  the  Sub- A  gent,  and  sent 
to  Captain  Gordon  of  H.  B.  M.  Ship  America,  who  left  here  in  August, 
as  we  supposed  for  the  Columbia  River,  he  refused  to  receive  it  under 
the  plea  that  he  was  not  bound  there;  I  am  in  expectation  to  forward 
the  letter  next  month  by  som^e  other  vessel. 
James  Clyman  Esq\  \  I  am  Sir 

San  Francisco        )  Your  most  ObdK  SvK 

Signed—  THOMAS  O.  LARKIN 

151  Larkin's  Official  Correspondence,  I,  No.  63.    Bancroft  Library. 

BOOK  7 

[Continuation  of  the  Clyman  Diaries] 
[Front  Cover] 

December  1845 

[California  in  1845] 
December  the  P*  1845 
Owing  to  my  brealcing  my  ink  stand  and  loosing  pencil  I  have  not 
been  able  to  write  any  since  the  First  of  sept  since  which  time  I  visited 
San  Francisco  or  Herba  Buano  and  the  most  of  the  Bay  of  San  Fran- 
cisco         The  Entrance  into  this  noble  bay  is  fine  and  Easy  of 

access  all  vessels  passing  in  and  out  by  the  chart  with  out  even  a 
pilot  the  harbour  inside  being  spacious  and  completely  land  locked  to 
the  North  and  west  by  a  high  rocky  ridge  or  promontory  to  the 
south  the  land  is  not  so  high  but  is  sufficiently  high  and  permanent  for 
good  security  the  achorage  is  good  and  secure  and  good  fresh  water 
easily  obtained  in  greate  abundance  from  a  spring  on  the  North  side  of 
the  bay  The  land  However  near  the  entrance  of  the  bay  is  not  fit 
for  cultivation  or  at  least  but  small  portions  of  it  it  being  generally 
dry  sandy  or  gravelly  soil  some  fine  grazing  lands  are  However 
found  no  advantages  can  be  had  for  Hydraulick  purposes  whatever 
which  is  a  great  drawback  against  this  noble  bay  The  Sacremento 
and  the  St  Joachim  are  the  main  feeders  the  former  is  a  beautifuU 
streem  and  is  probably  navegable  for  steam  boats  200  miles  from  its 
mouth  the  later  is  Quite  a  large  River  but  when  low  is  not  navi- 
gablle  to  any  considerable  distance  two  small  creeks  one  from  the 
north  and  the  other  from  the  south  is  all  ( [continued  on]  the  p  [age] 

[Much  of  what  follows  is  written  at  various  places  in  the  note-book  on  the  lower  parts 
of  the  pages,  below  the  diary] 

the  fresh  water  in  the  dry  season  that  falls  into  the  Bay  Both  the 
larger  Rivers  have  their  Sources  in  a  Broad  high  ruged  rang  of  moun- 
tains dividing  the  plains  of  the  Coast  from  the  greate  salt  Lake  valy 
Lying  East  of  the  above  mentioned  vally  and  west  of  the  main  chain 
of  Rocky  mountains  seperating  the  waters  of  the  Atlantic  and  the 

Beside  these  two  greate  chains  of  mountains  there  is  still  another 
chain  running  near  and  paralell  with  the  coast  this  like  all  the  others 
is  in  many  places  high  and  extremely  ruged  and  its  perpendicular  cliffs 
in  many  places  stay  the  Bosterous  waves  of  the  Pacific  and  if  report  be 
correct  it  [is]  probably  the  most  ruged  Desolate  coast  yet  known  for 
som  hundeds  of  [miles]  north  [of]  the  Bay  of  San  Francisco 

These  three  greate  and  lengthy  chains  of  mountains  are  in  many 
places  connected  by  cross  chains  such  as  The  Umpiqaw  dividing  th 


Willhamett  from  the  umpiquaw  River  the  Clamet  dividing  the  waters 
of  the  umpiquaw  and  clamett  Rivers  the  Siskiew  dividing  the  waters 
of  the  Clamet  and  Chesty  rivers  and  the  still  mor  high  and  nigged 
range  of  the  Snowy  Bute  [Mount  Shasta]  seperating  the  waters  of  the 
Clamet  and  sacremento  with  innumerable  spurrs  of  mountains  Jutting 
out  in  all  directions  from  both  and  all  the  main  chains  and  numbers  of 
Isolated  and  detached  hills  Knobbs  and  mountains  standing  and  run- 
ning in  all  immaginable  directions  making  the  vallies  generally  small 
winding  and  narrow  But  generally  Beautifull  and  picturesque  and  well 
clothed  in  native  grasses 

The  —  Callifornians  are  a  proud  Lazy  indolent  people  doing  noth- 
ing but  ride  after  herds  or  from  place  to  place  without  any  appearant 
object  The  Indians  or  aboriginees  do  all  the  drudgery  and  labour  and 
are  kept  in  a  state  of  Slavery  haveing  no  or  Receeving  no  compensation 
for  their  labour  except  a  scanty  allowence  of  subsistance  during  the 
time  they  actually  imployed  and  perhaps  a  cotton  Shirt  and  wool  suf- 
ficient to  make  a  coarse  Blanket  which  they  spin  and  weave  in  their 
own  way  Their  method  of  manufacturing  is  simple  and  curious 
They  beat  the  wool  with  two  sticks  in  place  of  cards  and  when  it  is 
beaten  enough  they  spin  it  with  a  stick  and  lay  the  warp  by  driveing 
a  number  of  small  sticks  in  the  ground  it  [is]  raised  by  letting  a 
stick  run  through  sufficiently  to  pass  a  smal  ball  through  and  brought 
up  with  the  sane  stick  of  course  their  fabrick  is  coarse  but  they 
make  it  verry  durable  The  californian  Plough  is  a  curosity  in  agra- 
culture  being  made  of  a  forked  branch  of  a  tree  one  prong  of  which 
answers  for  a  handle  the  other  for  (the  other  for)  a  Land  side  mould 
Board  Coulter  &  all  haveing  a  small  piece  of  Iron  on  the  forward  part 
about  the  size  of  a  mans  hand  and  half  an  inch  thick  Harrow  no 
such  thing  known 

A  small  Quantity  of  wheat  a  patch  of  corn  and  Beans  —  with  some 
garden  vegetables  constitute  all  the  agracultural  products  of  the  main 
bulk  of  the  californians  not  half  sufficient  for  a  supply  and  a  greate 
portion  of  the  inhabitants  live  exclusively  on  Beef  and  mutton  both  of 
which  are  remarkably  fine  and  fat  but  want  the  fine  flour  and  vegetables 
to  make  a  good  meal  for  an  American  Several  kinds  of  red  peppers 
are  grown  in  greate  abundance  and  enter  largely  in  to  the  californian 
cookery  so  much  so  as  to  nearly  strangle  a  Forigner  and  you  find  it 
necesary  to  have  a  good  apatite  to  swallow  a  meal  no  such  thing  as 
a  good  flouring  mill  is  to  be  found  but  every  family  have  a  small  hand 
mill  on  which  they  mash  their  grain  when  they  have  any  to  mash  and 
a  coarse  sive  for  a  Bolt  Their  bread  is  made  in  thin  wafer  like 
cakes  and  baked  slowly  untill  they  are  as  hard  as  a  sea  buisket       Thier 

DIARY,  DECEMBER,  1845  187 

sheep  are  small  and  produce  a  smll  Quantity  of  coarse  wool  along  the 
back  the  belly  being  entirely  bare  Their  cattle  are  of  a  good  size 
and  handsomely  built  some  farms  or  Ranches  have  from  Five  to 
Twenty  thousand  head  of  neat  stock  on  them  with  large  stocks  of 
horses  and  sheep  no  such  thing  as  a  woolen  Factory  is  known  nor 
in  fact  a  manufactory  of  any  kind  or  discription  and  even  a  coarse 
woolen  hat  sells  from  five  to  eight  dollars  The  trade  of  the  country 
is  carried  on  by  some  Eight  or  ten  vessels  fitted  out  from  Boston  with 
dry  goods  which  they  sell  at  from  three  to  five  hundred  percent  ad- 
vance on  prime  cost  and  take  Hides  and  Tallow  in  return  The  tallow 
is  generally  sold  in  the  south  american  mining  districts  and  the  hides 
salted  and  carried  home  it  usually  takes  about  Three  year  to  make 
a  trading  trip  of  this  kind 

The  govomment  of  this  province  has  like  all  the  Spanish  american 
govornments  gone  through  several  Revolutions  and  changes  But  I  be- 
lieve every  change  has  been  for  the  worse  and  all  though  it  took  a 
recent  change  about  one  year  since  no  change  is  precieveable  except 
that  the  revenue  has  fallen  into  the  hands  of  other  persons  The 
revenue  is  small  and  wholey  used  up  by  the  collectors  not  a  cent  going 
to  the  central  government  no  such  thing  as  a  court  of  Justice  is 
known  higher  than  an  Alcaldas  court  which  is  equivolent  to  a  Justice  of 
the  peace  in  the  United  States  and  [the]  alcalda  is  bound  by  no  Law 
but  his  own  oppinions  which  decides  all  differences 

In  Fact  the  civil  The  Military  and  all  parts  of  the  Govenment  are 
weak  imbecile  and  poorly  organized  and  still  less  respected  and  in  fact 
but  little  needed  as  the  inhabitants  live  so  Isolated  as  to  have  but  little 
intercourse  with  each  other  and  therefore  few  difficulties  to  settle 

The  Forigners  which  have  found  their  way  to  this  country  are 
mostly  a  poor  discontented  set  of  inhabitants  and  but  little  education 
hunting  for  a  place  as  they  [want]  to  live  easy  only  a  few  of  them 
have  obtained  land  and  commenced  farming  and  I  do  not  hear  of  but 
one  man  that  has  gone  to  the  trouble  and  Expence  to  get  his  tittle 
confirmed  and  fixed  beyond  altiration  and  dispute 

In  speaking  of  the  govornment  of  California  I  must  say  that  (that) 
it  is  the  most  free  and  easy  govornment  Perhaps  on  the  civilized 
globe  no  Taxes  are  imposed  on  any  individual  what  ever  I  saw  nor 
heard  of  no  requrement  for  Roade  labour  no  Military  tax  no  civil 
department  to  support  no  Judiciary  requiring  pay  and  in  every  respect 
the  people  live  free  you  may  support  Priest  or  not  at  your  pleasure 
and  if  your  life  and  property  are  not  Quite  so  safe  as  in  some  other 
countries  you  have  the  pleasure  of  using  all  your  earnings  And  strange 
as  it  may  seem  I  never  saw  a  Spanish  Californian  that  was  a  mechanic 


of  any  kind  or  discription  and  how  they  formerly  made  (made)  out  to 
cutivate  any  land  is  a  mistery  to  me  not  yet  solved  nor  do  I  recolect 
of  seeing  during  my  stay  in  this  povince  one  single  instance  of  a  cali- 
fornian  having  a  rail  or  stone  fence  all  their  fencing  being  made  of 
Brush  or  willows  woven  in  the  form  of  a  Basket  and  in  some  few 
Instances  they  had  taken  root  and  made  a  living  fenc  and  ware  they 
cut  and  set  in  the  proper  season  most  of  them  would  live 

Callifornia  as  a  general  is  scarce  of  valuable  timber  the  oak  pre- 
dominates and  consists  of  Black  oak  two  or  three  verieties  white  oak 
5  or  6  kinds  Live  oak  three  or  4  verieties  but  all  the  oak  tribe  is  short 
and  shrubby  and  of  but  little  use  except  for  fire  wood  The  Red  Firr 
grow  in  considerable  Quantities  in  some  of  the  mountains  but  is  like- 
wise hard  and  gnarled  The  red  wood  is  generally  fine  Straight  and 
large  but  is  only  found  plenty  in  some  of  the  mountainous  districts 
this  is  the  timber  spoken  of  by  travelers  as  growing  to  such  immence 
hight  and  size  the  appearance  [of]  this  wood  much  resembles  our 
red  cedar  it  generally  splits  straight  and  easy  and  is  certainly  a 
noble  tree  but  is  never  found  on  the  plains  and  only  on  a  few  of  the 
mountains  except  those  near  the  coast  whare  it  is  found  plentifully  in 
places  and  is  fine  for  building  covering  and  finishing  houses  and  is  the 
only  timber  fit  for  making  rail  fences  or  in  fact  to  split  for  any  other 
purpose  the  mountains  are  generally  all  covered  with  impenetrable 
thickets  of  evergreen  shrubery  which  is  of  no  use  to  the  farmer  or 
mechanick  it  being  too  small  and  rough  for  any  usefull  purpose  in 
some  places  neare  the  coast  however  it  is  burned  into  charcoal  and 
some  other  Districts  a  certain  kind  is  Burned  for  the  ashes  that  it 
produces  containing  uncommon  Quantities  of  Potash  and  perhaps  soda 
or  some  other  mineral  which  enters  freely  into  the  operation  of  soap 
making  in  fact  the  country  produces  a  root  that  has  all  the  Qualities 
of  soap  and  requires  nothing  but  smashing  and  mixing  with  the  water 
to  have  good  soap  suds  as  the  wash  women  call  it 

Dec  2^  Started  out  on  a  Bear  hunt  crossed  the  Napa  vally  and 
a  high  rough  high  rugged  mountain  and  encamped  on  the  north  side  of 
the  Kiota  vally  our  company  consisting  of  six  and  a  boy  and  six  Extra 
pack  Horses 

[Dec]  3  A  Frosty  night  and  a  cool  morning  packed  up  and 
troted  off  north  ward  over  a  range  of  hills  covered  with  Chimisall  and 
other  shrubery  on  the  side  of  a  steep  bald  hill  we  came  to  a  large 
natural  soda  fountain  which  sparkled  up  in  its  own  rock  formed 
basin  this  fountain  contains  a  large  portion  of  soda  but  a  small 
Quantity  of  gass  saw  several  Bear  at  a  distance  which  appered  to 
be  mostly  poor  and  not  worth  the  shooting      saw  a  number  of  recently 

DIARY,  DECEMBER,  1845  189 

made  tracks  four  of  us  parted  two  to  the  right  and  two  to  the  left 
of  our  rout 

heard  a  fire  commenced  by  (by)  those  to  our  left  and  soon  saw 
two  gray  bears  coming  growling  in  a  direction  toward  us  my  com- 
panion and  me  dismounted  and  as  soon  as  they  came  in  good  rifle 
distance  we  fired  and  droped  both  at  the  first  fire  the  old  shee  how- 
ever did  not  die  Quite  so  easy  but  at  last  gave  up  after  recieving  four 
balls  through  her  vitals 

Encamped  on  the  outlet  of  an  Extensive  large  lake  [Clear  Lake] 
Lying  noar  the  summit  of  a  high  range  of  mountains  this  lake  is 
said  to  be  80  miles  [!]  in  length  from  S.  E.  to  N.  W.  its  feeders  how- 
ever must  be  limited  as  there  is  no  running  water  in  the  outlet  only  a 
few  miles  from  the  Lake  or  Lagoona  is  it  is  called  Feasted  Luxur- 
iently  on  fat  Bear  ribs  and  liver —  our  leaders  did  not  think  the 
Bear  plenty  Enough  to  make  a  full  hunt  here  so  we  packed  up  & 
moved  on  northward 

4  Crossed  a  low  range  of  Black  chimisal  mountains  and  struck 
the  North  fork  of  cache  creek  hed  consultation  whither  to  go  North 
further  or  change  our  course  to  the  East  finally  took  the  Eeastern 
rout  down  Cache  creek  and  encampe'^  at  the  head  of  a  verry  long 
Rough  Kenyon      no  Bear  seen  to  day 

5  Took  down  the  Kenyon  over  immence  piles  of  loose  rocks  that 
choked  the  streaam  in  its  narrow  charmel  our  horses  however  made 
slow  but  sure  progress  down  the  Kenyon  untill  at  length  we  found  any 
further  passage  down  the  Kenyon  impossible  so  we  commenced  the 
assent  of  a  verry  steep  high  mountain  on  the  north  side  of  the  creek 
after  greate  toil  and  a  profusion  of  kicks  and  stripes  our  animals 
gained  the  summit  the  ridge  up  which  we  came  being  so  narrow  as  to 
bearly  admit  of  one  horse  to  pass  at  a  time  and  the  sides  a  nearly 
perpendicular  desent  for  some  thousand  feet  below  The  turn  of  this 
mountain  proved  to  be  a  close  thicket  of  Brush  through  which  we 
forced  ourselves  to  the  vally  below      Encamped  on  cash  creek 

6  continued  down  the  vally  and  crossed  near  the  main  moun- 
tain here  we  stoped  and  Examenid  the  mountain  But  found  no  Bear 
but  saw  ennumerable  Quantities  of  deer  but  as  we  ware  not  hunting 
deer  we  only  killed  deer  Enough  to  make  camp  meat      no  Bear  seen 

7  moved  on  again  down  the  mountain  near  the  greate  Sacramento 
plain  saw  greate  Quantities  of  deer  but  no  bear  and  encamped  [on] 
pooter  [Putah]  creek  close  under  a  Kenyon 

8  moved  up  through  the  Kenyon  to  near  its  uppermost  verge 
here  we  had  again  to  assend  a  tremendeous  high  steep  mountain  almost 
impracticable  for  a  horse  to  climb  and  turn  a  narrow  sharp  ridge  and 


desend  again  on  the  oposite  side  whare  we  reached  a  fine  vally  well 
stocked  with  cattle  and  hoses  continued  up  the  vally  to  the  head  of 
the  same  and  Encamped  on  pooter  creek  again  one  man  went  home 
and  Took  all  our  Extra  baggage  and  a  heavy  horse  load  of  Bears 

9  Moved  up  Pooter  creek  &  through  and  around  several  steep 
rocky  Kenyons  in  the  afternoon  arived  at  an  uneven  rocky  vally 
which  in  any  other  country  might  be  called  a  mountain  saw  some 
indications  of  Bear  and  encamped  for  the  purpose  of  hunting  them 
several  ware  soon  seen  and  a  number  of  guns  ware  fired  and  one  large 
old  fat  fellow  lay  dead  the  others  all  making  their  escape 

10  after  some  considerable  hunting  and  fireing  we  made  out  to 
kill  another 

11  Two  men  with  pack  horses  returned  home  with  the  slaugh- 
tered animals  which  proved  to  be  very  fat 

12  Killed  one  more  fine  fat  bear 

13  &  14     hunted  hard  without  (out)  sucess 

15  A  man  returned  to  camp  with  fresh  horses 

16  and  17  Slaughtered  two  more  noble  animals  and  got  them 
safe  to  camp       concluded  we  had  pork  Enough  to  answer  our  purposes 

18  slaughtered  17  deer  and  made  preperations  for  returning  home 

19  Returned  home  heavily  (heavily)  laden  with  Bear  meat  and 

[What  follows  appears  on  several  pages,  below  the  main  entries  of  the  diary] 

Remarks  on  Bear  hunting 

all  the  bear  in  this  country  are  of  grisled  or  grey  species  and  are 
extremely  dangerous  when  wounded  and  in  fact  frequently  attact  the 
hunter  or  other  passenger  without  any  provocation  Except  being  in- 
turupted  in  their  lair  Therefore  the  hunter  has  to  be  verry  cautious 
in  his  approach  and  scarcely  ever  attempts  to  drive  him  out  of  his 
fastnesses  Their  time  of  feedihg  being  in  the  night  the  hunter 
watches  him  late  in  the  Evening  or  Early  in  the  morning  when  he  is 
going  to  or  returning  from  his  feeding  grounds  Taking  if  possible  the 
advantage  of  some  inexcessable  cliff  of  rocks  Bank  or  Tree  or  is 
mounted  on  a  good  swift  horse  off  of  which  he  shoots  never  dismount- 
ing untill  the  bear  is  dead  generally  two  or  three  men  go  in  com- 
pany and  when  the  bear  is  discovered  they  all  aproach  in  good  rifle 
distance  one  firing  one  at  a  time  in  slow  succession  when  if  their  balls 
take  a  good  impression  it  so  confuses  the  animal  that  he  is  kept  con- 
tinually fighting  the  ball  holes  which  he  never  fails  to  do  so  that  he  has 
no  time  to  attact  the  hunters  untill  it  is  to  late  —  one  which  we  had 
the  Luck  to  kill  was  seen  passing  to  his  lair  in  the  morning  after  sun 

DIARY,  DECEMBER,  1845  191 

rise  two  men  attacted  him  and  gave  him  five  shots  at  a  vital  part  of 
his  body  when  he  made  his  Escape  to  an  allmost  impenatrable 
thicket  in  an  hour  after  three  of  us  well  mounted  followed  him  more 
than  a  mile  whare  we  found  him  badly  wounded  and  in  good  disposition 
for  a  fight  I  however  had  the  luck  to  get  a  shot  at  him  takeing 
him  close  behind  the  shoulder  when  he  broke  back  for  a  desperate 
thicket  several  guns  ware  fired  at  him  on  his  retreat  but  he  made 
his  Lair  and  defied  all  our  methods  to  draw  him  out  again  untill  one 
man  at  the  risk  of  himself  and  horse  ventured  in  to  the  thicket  cutting 
open  a  retreat  with  his  butcher  Knife  at  length  the  bear  charged  on 
him  the  other  man  standing  on  an  Eminence  shot  at  him  as  he 
passed  an  open  aperture  through  the  brush  and  had  the  luck  to  shoot 
him  in  the  head  on  butchering  him  we  found  nine  balls  had  taken 
good  effect  but  owing  to  the  greate  thickness  of  the  fat  on  his  sides 
only  one  had  passed  in  to  his  lungs  he  proved  to  be  a  noble  animal 
yeelding  more  than  three  Hundred  pounds  of  oil 

The  whole  of  our  hunt  amounting  nine  fin  fat  bear  and  about  30 

The  whole  of  the  country  we  passed  over  during  our  long  hunting 
Excursion  is  rough  and  rocky  beyond  discription  and  all  the  rock  and 
Eearth  of  a  volcanic  oregin  mostly  of  a  vitrious  and  red  cast  large 
Quantities  of  slag  and  other  volcanic  rocks  standing  universally  in  a 
nerly  prependicular  direction  and  Extremely  rough  and  sharp  the  tops 
and  sides  covered  with  several  kinds  of  hardy  Evergreen  shrubs  nearly 
as  sharp  and  hard  as  steel  and  growing  generally  from  4  to  10  Feet 
high  and  closely  interwoven  the  sides  of  the  mountains  covered  in 
addition  with  immence  Quantities  of  loose  rock  which  have  fallen  from 
time  to  time  from  the  higher  regions  of  the  cliffs  and  lay  piled  in  the 
utmost  confusion  below 

20  Fine  and  clear 

21  A  hard  stiff  frosty  morning  in  fact  we  have  had  Thirty  Two 
regular  successive  frosty  mornings  all  though  the  days  have  been  Quite 
fine  and  warm 

22  It  rained  some  during  the  night  and  morning 

23  More  rain  during  the  night  and  thick  fog  all  day  with  sev- 
eral rapid  showers  of  rain 

24  A  steady  rapid  rain  fell  diuring  the  whole  of  the  day  the 
first  rain  of  consequence  that  has  fallen  since  leaving  the  Willhamett 
vally  on  the  Eighth  of  June  last 

25  December  1845 

Chistmas  it  rained  all  night  the  morning  thick  and  foggy  with 
several  short  Rapid  showers      the  grass  and  wild  oats  However  is 


Quite  green  and  good  pastureage  — 

26  Cloudy  &  warm 

27  Excessive  rain 

28  Cloudy  and  warm 

29  Excessive  rain  all  the  country  covered  in  water  even  the 
mountains  send  down  their  torrents  of  water 

30  A  Beautifull  clear  morning  after  about  Thirty  hours  of  the  most 
Tremendous  rain  storm  That  perhaps  has  ever  fallen  in  the  present  age 
which  awakned  all  the  frogs  which  had  slept  during  the  dry  season  and 
are  now  chirping  in  every  puddle  The  season  for  sowing  wheat  now 
commences  as  Likewise  for  sowing  Turnips,  parsnips,  cabbages.  Onions, 
garden  peas,  Barley,  and  several  other  vegitables  which  cannot  be  pro- 
duced in  the  dry  hot  season 

Many  of  the  califomians  scarcely  ever  taste  Bread  but  live  intirely 
on  fresh  Beef  Beans  and  Red  pepper  which  they  cook  all  togather  and 
allways  cook  their  beef  verry  tender  or  so  that  it  will  scarcely  hold 

31  Several  Light  showers  or  rain  during  the  afternoon  yesterday 
and  each  producing  a  Beautifull  bow  of  Promis  all  though  to  look  at 
the  vallies  you  might  think  a  second  deluge  had  commenced 

a  dull  cloudy  day  in  the  evening  distant  thunder  was  heard 
which  is  a  rare  thing  and  verry  uncommon  in  this  country  several 
showers  of  rain  fell  during  the  night 

January  the  first  1846  dull  and  foggy  with  a  prospect  of  more 
rain  It  did  not  rain  but  distant  Thunder  was  heard  at  intervals  dur- 
ing the  day  a  slight  Earth  Quake  was  felt  in  many  parts  of  the 
Province  some  days  since  this  is  no  uncommon  circunstance  as  it  is 
seldom  that  six  months  passes  without  a  Quivering  and  trimbling  of  the 
Eearth  in  some  portion  of  California  allthough  I  have  not  heard  of  any 
that  has  done  any  considerable  damage  for  some  years  past 

2  a  dull  cloudy  day  and  it  commenced  raining  in  the  Evening 

3  It  Rained  moderately  all  night  a  dull  cloudy  morning  with 
slight  showers  of  rain  —  about  noon  it  came  on  to  rain  rapidly  and  so 
continued  most  of  the  night 

4  dull  and  Foggy  I  noticed  the  manseneto  trees  in  full  Bloom  — 
This  is  an  evergreen  shrub  growing  in  a  thick  gnarled  clump  with  a 
smoothe  red  coloured  bark  and  a  deep  green  leaf  and  would  make  a 
beautifull  shade  for  a  door  yard  it  prefers  a  dry  gravelly  soil  and 
grows  10  or  12  feet  high  has  a  sweet  small  pink  white  bloom  and  bears 
a  sour  berry  of  a  dark  red  colour  the  size  of  a  small  plumb 

5  A  Rany  morning  But  It  cleared  up  in  the  afternoon  and  the 
sun  shone  Beautifully  one  more  — 

DIARY,  JANUARY,  1846  193 

6  A  pleasant  day  but  a  cool  frosty  morning 

7  The  same  Except  the  frost  a  little  lighter 

8  Clear  and  Pleasant 

9  The  same 

10  Cloudy  and  warm  in  fact  a  coat  has  been  but  little  needed  this 
winter  except  in  the  rain  or  for  a  morning. 

1 1  Sunday  warm  and  cloudy  fine  growing  weather  verry 
much  resembling  a  Missouri  April  or  a  Eeastern  May  The  Man- 
soneta  in  full  Bloom  —  and  the  wild  Oats  about  acle  [ankle]  high 
shewing  fine  as  a  wheat  field  in  may  of  Wisconsin 

Kiled  14  Deer  some  fine  and  fat  during  the  last  week 

12  Frosty  morning 

Heard  that  Mr  Fremont  had  arived  at  suitors  Fort  and  still  more 
recently  that  Mr  Hastings  and  Party  had  likewise  arived  Both  From 
the  U  States.^^^  But  no  information  has  yet  arived  of  the  Politicks 
of  the  states  in  fact  information  of  all  Kinds  Travels  slow  and  is 
verry  uncertain  when  it  has  arived  you  know  nothing  certain  unless 
you  see  it  yourself 

13  Showers  of  rain  with  a  good  prospect  of  another  Flood 

the  rain  continued  untill  night 

14  Morning  clear  and  bright all  hands  buisy  Plowing  and 

sowing  wheat  Barly  &c  or  at  least  all  that  expect  to  reape  their  own 
grain  next  harvest 

The  recently  arived  emigration  from  the  U  States  appear  to  be 
Quite  industrious  in  making  preperations  for  living  in  some  civilized 

15  Cloudy  &  cool 

16  showers  of  rain  and  Quite  warm  for  the  middle  of  winter 

17  Last  night  was  a  night  of  Excessive  rain  and  this  morning  all 
the  low  grounds  are  again  immerced  in  water  the  day  however  proved 
clear  with  a  N,  W.  wind 

17  Sunday  clear  an  fine  with  a  s[t]iff  white  frost  in  the  morn- 
ing     K<i.  8  Deer 

18  Cloudy  and  warm  the  wind  seldom  blows  more  than  an 
hour  or  two  and  that  during  the  commencement  of  (of)  a  rainy  spell 

i'^^  Fremont  on  his  third  trip  arrived  at  Sutter's,  by  way  of  Truckee  Pass,  on 
December  10, 1845. 

Hastings  came  overland  the  second  time  in  1845,  arriving  at  Sutter's  on  Christ- 
mas Day.    Robert  Semple  was  a  member  of  Hastings'  small  party. 

In  Ivan  Petroff's  Abstract  of  Clyman's  Note-Book,  in  the  Bancroft  Library, 
the  first  sentence  under  the  entry  of  January  12  contains  an  erroneous  interpola- 
tion as  follows:  "Heard  that  Mr.  Fremont  had  arrived  at  Sutter's  Fort  (from 
the  north,  having  changed  his  mind  about  returning  to  the  States)  and  still  more 
recently  that  Mr.  Hastings  and  party  had  likewise  arrived." 


the  mountains  are  high  steep  and  rocky  and  the  rains  rapid  so  that  the 
water  soon  collects  in  the  vallies  and  covers  nearly  the  whole  Earth  in 
a  few  hours  The  rocks  generally  stand  in  nearly  a  perpendicular 
direction  and  what  water  finds  its  way  down  through  them  goes  to  an 
immence  depth  in  the  Earth  what  water  continues  near  the  surface 
soon  runs  of  and  leaves  large  dry  tracts  of  rocky  mountanous  country 
without  or  very  scantily  supplied  with  water  in  the  dry  seasons 

19  Cloudy  with  several  Light  showers  of  rain 

20  It  rained  the  whole  of  Last  night  and  still  continues  to  rain  with 
a  thick  dense  fog  Had  the  pleasure  of  an  evinings  conversation  with 
M""  [Isaac  A.]  Flint  from  Wisconsin  Feel  a  great  Disire  to  see  Mill- 
waukie  this  morning  — 

21  and  22  Cloudy  and  warm  The  Mansoneto  Dropping  its 
Blows  the  Alder  in  full  Bloom  In  fact  allthough  we  have  had  a 
number  of  frosty  mornings  their  has  been  no  day  but  what  has  been 
uncomfortable  to  walk  or  exercise  in  any  way  without  feeling  a  coat 
Quite  to  heavy  and  warm  allthough  my  wintering  ground  is  in  a  nar- 
row vally  nearly  surrounded  by  high  rugged  mountains  and  I  find  it 
verry  little  cooler  on  (on)  the  mountains  than  in  the  vallys  during 
the  hours  of  sun  shine  but  when  the  sun  is  hidden  a  great  differanc  is 

25     Cloudy  cind  warm 

24  Clear  and  warm 

25  Thick  Foggy  morning  and  temendious  heavy  dew  cleared 
off  about  noon  fine  and  warm 

Killed  during  the  week  7  Deer 

26  Close  and  warm  and  damp 

27  Considerable  rain  fell  during  the  night  and  the  day  proved 
showery  and  cool 

28  Showers 

29  Qear  &  cool 

30  Considerable  rain  fell 

31  Excessive  rains  during  the  night  and  continued  all  day  the 
vallies  inundated  with  water  again  the  mountains  sending  down  their 
Torrents  in  white  foam —  The  climate  of  Oregon  and  California  re« 
semble  each  other  verry  much  Oregon  being  somewhat  cooler 

Sundy  the  First  of  February 1846 

Killed  during  the  week  8  Deer  This  day  proved  clear  and  pleas- 
ant But  the  country  is  completely  impassable  on  account  of  the  greate 
depth  of  mud  and  general  softness  of  the  earth  several  thunder 
showers  passed  During  the  last  evening  and  night  the  Thunder  How- 
ever was  low  and  grmbling  &  the  Lightning  not  at  all  vivid  or  bright. 

DIARY,  FEBRUARY,  1846  195 

2  warm  and  moist  the  dew  standing  on  the  green  vegitation 
throughout  the  day 

3  a  cool  night  and  a  whit  frost  this  morning  the  afternoon 

4  Hazy  and  cool  with  a  brisk  wind  from  the  East 

5  considerable  rain  fell  during  the  day 

Early  sown  wheat  begins  to  shew  green  the  Peach  trees  begin- 
ing  to  shew  their  bloom      willow  in  bloom. 

6  Clear  and  pleasant  the  grass  about  ancle  high  and  several 
kinds  of  small  herbs  shewing  their  Bloom 

7  Rainy  dull  weather 

8  Continues  to  rain  with  a  thick  dense  fog 

9  Cool  and  Rainy 

10  snow  seen  on  high  peaks  of  the  Napa  mountain 

11  the  snow  that  fell  yestarday  is  still  visible  and  the  air  chilly 
and  cool 

12  Clear  with  a  Keen  white  frost  over  all  the  green  vegitation 
which  however  did  not  in  the  least  injure  the  tenderest  herbage 

13  another  frost  not  quite  so  Keen  as  yestarday  both  days 
came  off  fine  and  pleasant  Garden  Peas  up  and  growing  finely 
Beets,  Cabbages,  Onions  Radishes  and  Turnips  all  up  and  thriveing 
wheat  Likewise  covers  the  ground  fine  and  green  Horses  and  cattle 
thriveing  the  native  grasses  and  wild  oats  ancle  high  Clover  be- 
gins to  cover  the  grou**  their  is  five  or  six  species  of  native  clover  to 
be  found  all  coming  from  the  seed  anually  some  Kinds  grow  large 
and  strong  measuring  full  grown  and  straight  five  or  six  feet  in  length 
and  setting  emmensely  thick  on  the  earth 

14  Pleasant  &  clear 

15  same 

16  same 

17  Clear  with  a  strong  north  wind  the  Earth  becoming  some 
what  drained  but  not  dry  by  any  means 

18  clear  the  Buck  Eye  shrubs  begining  to  shew  their  leaf  as 
some  of  the  Black  oaks 

18  Clear  with  a  fair  prspect  of  the  rainy  season  having  come  to  a 

19,  20  &  22  Continues  clear  and  fine  weather  The  Buck  Eye 
shrubery  shews  the  leaf  as  Like  wise  the  Black  oak  the  vallies  still 
wet  and  muddy  but  the  mountains  becomeing  dry  and  covered  hand- 
somely green  with  a  thick  groth  of  native  herbage 

23  same 

24  same 


25  Rainy  with  moderate  showers  fine  growing  weather  these 
showers  continued  Throughout  the  monthe  the  season  for  sowing 
wheate  is  over  as  it  is  considered  a  very  uncertain  prospect  for  wheat 
to  sow  after  the  first  of  March  all  kinds  of  stock  and  cattle  in 
particular  are  now  thriveing  rapidly  on  the  young  pastureage  whuch 
is  now  green  and  tender  this  month  is  usually  considered  spring  in 
this  region  but  this  season  is  rather  more  backward  than  usual  and 
some  kinds  of  timber  scarcely  shows  the  swelling  of  the  bud  some 
considerable  talk  of  prepareing  for  the  states  and  Oregon  for  both  of 
which  parties  are  making  preperations  for  and  both  of  which  are  long 
tiresome  and  some  what  dangerous  routs  so  I  close  the  winter  or  at 
least  the  winter  months 

[Back  Cover'] 
James  Clymans  Mem 

BOOK  8 

IFront  Cover] 

March  184[6] 
James  Clyman 
Feby   26     Rainy  and   disagreeable 

27  same  only  more  so 

28  cool  and  cloudy 

March  the  1st,  i846 

J   Clyman  1846 

March   1846 
Bear  Creek 

1846     March  the  first 

This  is  one  of  the  climates  that  makes  a  fair  and  beautifull  appear- 
ance for  the  commencement  of  the  vernal  season  to  commence  with 
the  opening  and  springing  vegitation  all  of  which  makes  a  forward  ap- 
pearanc  many  of  the  oak  Trees  haveing  their  leaves  half  thier  size 
and  numerous  native  flowrets  are  seen  in  all  directions  mostly  of  a 
yallow  and  Purple  colour  and  of  a  small  kind  The  lowlands  How- 
ever are  nearly  covered  in  water  from  the  recent  excessive  rains  which 
have  fallen 

An  excessive  rain  fell  during  last  night  which  overflowed  com- 
pletely the  allready  half  deluged  vallies  the  mountains  sending  down 
thier  torrents  in  white  sheets  of  troubled  waters  in  all  their  ravines  — 
But  as  the  mountains  are  built  of  intire  rock  their  is  but  little  except 
water  and  gravel  to  bring  down  both  of  which  are  plenty 

2  Cloudy  and  warm 

3  Clear  and  warm 

4  same 

5  clear  and  Beautifull  the  greate  flood  of  water  which  deluged 
nearly  all  of  the  vallies  is  begining  to  subside  and  leave  the  earth 
green  and  fine  to  all  appearance  but  desperately  miry  and  I  found  it 
verry  difficult  for  my  horse  to  carry  me  only  a  few  miles 

6  &  7     still  clear  and  fine 

8  a  beautifull  day 

9  same  a  young  M''  [Britain?]  Greenwood  came  in  haveing 
been  out  some  weeks  hunting  and  Trapping  in  the  mountains  north 

he  brought  in  a  beautifull  specemin  of  pure  Sulpher  and  he  informs 
me  he  saw  greate  Quantities  of  this  mineral  as  Likewise  a  mineral  re- 
sembling galena  Lead  ore  in  great  abundance but  as  M""  Green- 
wood had  the  ill  luck  to  loose  his  specimens  [of]  Lead  ore  I  cannot 
say  what  kind  of  mineral  it  was 


There  is  greate  Quntities  of  soda  found  in  many  places  all 
Through  California  and  Lye  made  of  ashes  is  never  used  in  the  manu- 
facture of  soap  but  a  species  of  earth  is  found  that  answers  weell 
for  this  purpose  and  in  fact  in  many  places  there  is  found  sinks  or 
holes  in  the  earth  that  fills  with  water  in  the  rainy  seasons  and  which 
after  it  has  evaporated  considerably  by  the  dry  weather  has  all  the 
appearance  and  Qualities  of  Lye  made  from  ashes  and  is  collected  for 
soap  making 

Mercury  or  Quecksilver  is  found  in  many  places  and  is  manufac- 
tured in  small  Quntity  [at  New  Almaden]  near  the  puablau  village  [of 
San  Jose]  south  of  the  Bay  of  St  Francisco  gold  is  said  to  Exist  in 
the  same  neighbourhood  but  is  not  worked  silver  is  Likewise  said  to 
have  been  found  near  the  same  place 

Small  Quantities  of  magnetic  Iron  may  be  seen  in  many  places  But 
I  have  not  heard  of  any  Iron  being  manufactured  in  any  part  of  the 
country  some  portions  of  the  countrey  is  said  abound  in  salt  but 
the  salt  used  in  California  is  brought  from  the  Sandwich  Islands  and  is 
Quite  cheap       Salt  is  an  article  not  much  used  by  the  californians 

10  Many  of  the  oak  Trees  make  a  fine  shade  and  summer  seems 
to  be  fast  approaching  allthough  the  mountains  are  still  covered  white 
in  snow  Lettuce  and  Radishes  plenty  whare  any  attention  has  been 
paid  to  gardening 

From  the  Eighth  untill  the  15th  the  weather  was  fine  clear  and 
warm  during  the  hours  of  sunshine  but  cool  at  night  and  the  particular 
in  the  mornings  which  ware  chilly  and  require  a  coat  to  feel  com- 

15  The  morning  somewhat  overcast  and  cool  but  the  sun  soon 
drove  off  the  Haze  and  shone  warm  and  pleasant 

16  Cool  and  somewhat  Cloudy  wind  from  the  north  in  the 
afternoon  some  light  showers  of  hail  or  snow  fell  the  first  I  have  seen 
fall  in  the  vallies  sine  I  have  been  in  California 

17  The  sun  arose  in  his  usu[al]  bright  majesty  and  splendor. 
Of  all  places  this  is  the  country  for  news  or  false  reports  there  being 
no  report  that  can  be  relid  on  except  you  have  some  personal  Knowl- 
edge of  the  matter  a  report  is  now  rife  that  Capt  Fremont  has 
raised  the  american  flag  in  Monteray  and  all  good  citizens  are  caled  on 
to  appear  forthwith  to  appear  at  Sonoma  armed  and  (and)  Equiped 
for  service  under  General  Byaho  [Vallejo]  to  defend  the  rights  and 
priviledges  of  Mexican  citizens^^^ 

21     From  the  17  until  the  2P'  the  weather  was  cool  with  several 

153  Cf.   "General   Vallejo's   Midnight  Proclamation,"   March    14,    1846,    Calif. 
Hist.  Soc.  Quarterly,  vol.  4,  p.  387. 


showers  of  hail  and  notwithstanding  the  vegitation  has  a  show  of  mid- 
sumer  yet  we  had  several  frosty  mornings  but  I  could  not  precieve  the 
slightest  alteration  in  the  appearance  of  the  tenderest  vegitable  It 
appears  from  information  now  recieved  that  the  alarm  mentioned  a 
few  days  since  was  created  By  M""  Freemont  having  raised  an  american 
Flag  at  his  camp  neare  the  Mision  of  St.  Johns,  and  that  he  was  caled 
on  to  apeare  before  some  of  the  so  caled  Legal  authorities  whice  he 
declined  to  do  Aand  this  cercumstance  alarmed  all  of  the  Califor- 
nians  and  caused  General  Castro  to  rais  400  men  which  report  says 
are  now  under  arms  at  Monteray  no  report  However  can  be  relied 
on  as  but  few  men  in  this  Country  can  write  you  may  form  some 
Idea  of  what  reports  are  carried  verbally  from  one  to  two  hundred 
Miles  by  an  ignorant  supersticious  people 

Clyman's  Message  to  Fremont 

Apparently  it  was  upon  this  day,  after  receiving  information  of 
Fremont's  trouble,  that  Clyman  determined  to  make  an  offer  of  assist- 
ance —  a  company  of  armed  American  immigrants.  His  letter  was 
evidently  taken  to  Fremont  by  the  same  Mr.  Flint  whom  Clyman  men- 
tioned on  January  20.  Unfortunately  the  original  of  Fremont's  reply 
has  not  been  found  among  the  Clyman  papers.  Ivan  Petroff  saw  Fre- 
mont's letter  in  Clyman's  possession  in  1878  and  preserved  a  copy. 

[Fremont's  Answer  to  Clymanl 

[Ivan  Petroff's  Abstract  of  Clyman's  Note-Book,  p.  26.     MS,  Bancroft  Library] 


To  James  Clyman,  Esq. 

at  Yount's  Mills,  California 

Dear  Sir: 

Your  favor  of  the  21^'^  ultimo  has  been  received  through  the  kindness 
of  Mr.  Flint,  some  time  since,  but  as  the  subject  matter  is  one  of  the 
gravest  importance  I  have  taken  time  to  consider  before  venturing  upon 
a  definite  reply.  I  am  placed  in  a  peculiar  position.  Having  carried 
out  to  the  best  of  my  ability,  my  instructions  to  explore  the  far  west,  I 
see  myself  on  the  eve  of  my  departure  for  home,  confronted  by  the 
most  perplexing  complications.  I  have  received  information  to  the 
effect  that  a  declaration  of  war  between  our  Government  and  Mexico  is 
probable,  but  so  far  this  news  has  not  been  confirmed.  The  Calif ornian 
authorities  object  to  my  presence  here  and  threaten  to  overwhelm  me. 
If  peace  is  preserved  I  have  no  right  or  business  here;  if  war  ensues  I 
shall  be  out  numbered  ten  to  one  and  be  compelled  to  make  good  my 
retreat  pressed  by  a  pursuing  enemy.  It  seems  that  the  only  way  open 
to  me  is  to  make  my  way  back  eastward,  and  as  a  military  man  you 
must  perceive  at  once  that  an  increase  of  my  command  would  only 
encumber  and  not  assist  my  retreat  through  a  region  where  wild  game 
is  the  only  thing  procurable  in  the  way  of  food.     Under  these  circum- 


stances  I  must  make  my  way  back  alone  and  gratefully  decline  your 
offer  of  a  company  of  hardy  warriors 
And  remain 

Yottrs  Respectfully 

Camp  on  Feather  River  [?] 
December  iq^^^  1S45.  [!] 

It  would  be  interesting  to  know  what  the  date  of  Fremont's  reply 
actually  was.  The  date  appearing  on  the  copy  is  obviously  wrong.  It 
was  Petroff' s  custom  to  interpolate,  and  he  may  have  supplied  both  the 
place  and  the  date.  The  style  of  the  letter  is  almost  certainly  that  of 
Fremont  and  there  is  no  reason  to  doubt  the  authenticity  of  the  docu- 

Assuming  that  Clyman  wrote  on  March  21,  Fremont  would  not 
have  answered  from  the  Feather  River  during  the  following  week  and 
have  found  it  necessary  to  speak  of  delay  in  forwarding  his  answer.  He 
was  at  Lassen's  on  the  30th,  having  left  Sutter's  about  the  23d.  He 
returned  to  Lassen's  on  April  11  and  left  again  on  the  14th.  He  possi- 
bly answered  the  letter  during  this  second  visit  to  Lassen's. 

On  his  return  from  Oregon  Fremont  camped  on  the  Feather  River 
about  June  10.  Clyman  was  by  this  time  over  the  mountains  on  his 
way  home.  His  departure  with  Hastings  should  have  been  known  to 
Fremont,  who  addressed  the  answer  to  Yount's  Mills,  where  Clyman 
had  been  on  March  31. 

It  is  likely  that  Fremont  answered  before  his  journey  to  Klamath 
Lake,  but  there  may  be  two  objections  to  this  theory. 

In  the  first  place  Fremont  mentions  the  receipt  of  information 
regarding  the  probability  of  a  declaration  of  war.  And  secondly,  in  a 
statement  to  Petroff  in  1878  Clyman  said  that,  "The  interval  [referring 
to  the  gap  in  the  Diary  after  August  21,  1845]  was  occupied  principally 
with  hunting  and  that  upon  the  request  of  many  young  men  who  had 
already  become  disgusted  with  the  country  he  [Clyman]  set  about  to 
organize  a  party  for  returning  to  Oregon  and  eventually  to  the  States. 
Previous  to  making  final  arrangements  Mr.  Clyman  wrote  to  Col, 
Fremont  and  offered  him  the  able-bodied  men  he  could  control  (over 
fifty),  but  the  offer  was  declined  though  this  was  after  the  Colonel  had 
heard  from  the  States  through  Mr.  Gillespie.  Clyman  then  went  on 
with  his  arrangements,"  —  Petroff' s  Abstract  of  Clyman' s  Note-Book, 
MS,  Bancroft  Library. 

The  discrepancy  here  is  that  Clyman  had  already  made  final  arrange- 
ments and  was  starting  on  his  way  east  upon  Gillespie's  first  arrival  at 
Sutter's  Fort,  April  28. 

If  Fremont's  answer  was  written  in  March  or  April  he  was  evidently 
refusing  Clyman's  offer  either  because  the  time  was  not  ripe  for  conquest 
or,  as  is  more  likely,  because  he  had  no  expectations  of  military  activity. 
If  the  answer  was  written  in  May  or  June  he  was  dissembling  his  real 
purposes  or  concealing  his  moral  support  of  the  Bear-flagers.  It  is 
barely  possible  that  Clyman's  offer  had  emboldened  Fremont  sufficiently 
to  cause  his  return  to  California  after  Gillespie's  message  was  received. 

That  Clyman's  proposal  was  a  bona  fide  offer  of  military  assistance 

DIARY,  MARCH,  J 846  2ol 

and  not  merely  a  suggestion  to  join  forces  for  the  homeward  trip  is 
fairly  evident. 

In  the  first  place  it  seems  that  Clyman  was  moved  to  write  to 
Fremont  just  at  the  moment  when  the  Colonel  appeared  to  need  assist- 
ance. And  especially  significant  is  Fremont's  statement  that  "the  sub- 
ject is  one  of  the  gravest  importance." 

I  can  find  no  support  for  Bancroft's  statements  that  Clyman  "desired 
to  unite  his  company  to  that  of  Fremont  for  the  return  trip  • —  or,  as 
he  claims,  for  a  movement  against  the  Califomians,"  —  History  of 
California,  Vol.  V,  p.  23.  Clyman  left  no  such  statement  of  his  motives. 
The  evidence  available  seems  to  show  that  he  simply  desired  to  aid 
Fremont  in  case  of  danger  from  attack. 

That  Clyman  had  no  precocious  schemes  of  conquest  is  manifest 
from  the  following  observations  of  William  Hargrave,  —  Dictation  to 
Ivan  Petroff,  MS,  Bancroft  Library. 

Speaking  of  the  events  preceding  the  Bear  Flag  movement  Hargrave 

Some  bad  feeling  was  also  created  by  the  departure  early  in  1846  of 
Col.  James  Clyman  and  a  large  company  of  hardy  frontiersmen.  The 
Colonel  had  only  arrived  the  previous  summer  with  a  party  from  Oregon 
and  after  traveling  about  and  engaging  our  hospitality  and  the  pleasures 
of  deer  and  bear  hunting  he  took  most  of  his  original  party  and  some 
others  who  had  become  disgusted  out  of  the  country  again  at  a  time  when 
tlie  patriots  who  meditated  the  conquest  of  California  had  need  of  every 
trusty  arm  and  rifle  within  reach.  Col.  Clyman  however  claimed  to  have 
offered  his  force  to  Fremont  and  that  the  offer  was  refused. 

[Continuation  of  the  Clyman  Diaries] 

[March]  22     A  stiff  white  frost 

Report  further  states  that  (that)  Gen'.  Castro  marche[d]  his  valer- 
ous  troops  to  Capt  Fremonts  camp  whare  he  found  numerous  pack 
saddles  and  various  other  Baggage  and  a  considerable  Quantity  of 
Specie  which  cap^  Freemont  had  unavoidably  left  in  his  rapid  retreat 

25     Another  Frost 

Heard  of  a  small  party  Leaving  the  south  part  of  California  For  St. 
A.fee  and  (and)  the  United  States  by  the  way  of  Chiwauewa 

24  Still  another  Frost  Active  preperations  making  for  the  de- 
parture of  a  company  or  two  who  are  going  to  Oregon  with  cattle  and 
Horses  this  company  will  consist  of  60  or  80  persons  mostly  of  those 
that  came  in  last  season  I  do  not  recollect  of  having  mentioned  here- 
tofore that  the  Emigration  from  the  states  [during  1845]  cosisted  of 
about  150  persons  30  or  40  of  which  are  now  going  to  Columbia  as 
Oregon  is  here  called  — 

From  The  24  untill  the  31.  Weather  fair  and  cool  some  slight 
frosts  occasionally  Kept  packing  or  rather  making  pack  saddle  and 
other  preperations  for  my  intended  start  for  the  U.  States  finaly  lift 
on  the  31  the  head  of  Napa  vally  and  proceeded  down  18  miles  to  Mr 
Yount      the  vally  is  far  from  being  dry  but  is  passable  —  M'  yount  is 


an  american  that  has  been  in  the  mexican  country  for  13  or  14  years 
and  has  a  Flouring  and  saw  mill  in  opperation  both  of  which  are  prof- 
itable and  as  far  as  I  could  learn  this  [is]  the  only  Flouring  mill  in 
the  province 

1846  April  the  V^  Cool  with  a  strong  west  wind  and  several 
light  shower  of  rain 

Left  Mr.  Younts  and  proceeded  down  Nappa  vally  thorough  several 
sloughs  and  mud  holes  passed  a  farm  on  our  left  belonging  [to] 
Signor  St  Salvador  Byaho  [Vallejo]   (discribe  it) 

This  Ranche  of  General  Byahos  contains  33  Leages  of  land  equal 
to  (14600)  one  hundred  and  Forty  six  Thousand  acres  and  allthough 
he  is  the  largest  farmer  in  Callifornia  yet  a  very  small  portion  of  this 
immence  Tract  is  in  cultivation  perhaps  not  more  than  4  or  500  acres 
all  the  rest  being  left  for  the  pastureage  of  his  stock  haveing  12  to 
15,000  head  of  neat  cattle  7  or  8,000  head  of  Horses  2,  or  3,000  head  of 
sheep  he  has  also  300  wrking  men  with  their  usual  proportion  of 
Females  and  children  all  Kept  in  a  nearly  naked  state  and  pooly  fed 
and  never  paid  a  cent  for  their  labour 

(discribe  the  generals) 

St  Salvadors  farm  as  we  rode  past  did  not  make  a  very  flatering  or 
Tasty  appearance  being  scattered  and  strung  some  4  or  5  miles  in 
length  and  from  20  to  40  rods  wide  and  whare  fenced  at  all  the  fence 
was  made  of  small  willows  stucke  in  the  earth  and  wove  back  and  forth 
into  a  frail  open  kind  of  wicker  work  the  small  perishable  meterials 
Requiring  to  be  renewed  every  season  and  this  is  a  common  discrip- 
tion  of  a  California  farm  there  being  but  few  spots  of  land  moist  enough 
for  cultivation  Except  along  the  meanders  of  som  small  streame 

(wild  oats  — 

This  is  the  greatest  oat  field  (in)  perhaps  on  the  globe  containing 
tow  or  three  hundred  thousand  acres  of  land  and  what  is  most  re- 
markable scarcely  a  bunch  of  grass  or  a  weed  to  be  seen  notwith- 
standing this  immence  Quantity  of  native  grow[n]  oats  yet  you  never 
see  a  grain  fed  to  an  animal  all  is  suffered  to  fall  off  when  ripe  to 
seed  the  earth  for  another  crop  or  to  feed  the  millions  of  water  fowl 
that  resort  here  in  the  winter  or  rainy  season  at  this  season  it  has  a 
beautiful  appearanc  the  earth  being  thickly  clad  in  deep  green  foilage 
as  regular  as  a  well  set  meadow 

[Napa  Valley  to  Johnson's  Ranch] 

2  clear  and  Quite  cool  Left  the  oat  Field  with  its  Beautiful 
smoothe  green  hills  and  plains  and  as  we  had  no  place  to  breakefast 
we  rode  to  Mr  Wolfscales  for  dinner       in  Eevening  we  arived  at  M'' 

DIARY,  APRIL,  1846  2o3 

Gordons  whare  I  found  six  or  Eight  young  men  making  preperations  for 
their  return  to  Oregon  with  Horses  and  Cattle  all  being  completely  dis- 
gusted with  California  and  Quite  wiling  to  return  to  whare  the  manners 
and  customs  of  the  inhabitants  is  more  in  unison  with  civilization  than 
can  be  found  in  this  half  Barberous  half  Indian  population  which  is 
seen  in  all  parts  of  Spanish  america 

3  Remaind  withe  M'"  Gordon  who  is  a  verry  friendly  man  and 
verry  acomodating  to  his  country  men  whare  ever  found  — 

4  The  night  was  clear  with  slight  frost  this  morning  From  all 
that  I  can  Learn  I  think  that  our  company  for  the  states  will  be 
small  our  Horses  took  a  stampide  or  fright  last  night  and  cannot  be 
seen  in  any  direction  this  morning  most  of  the  men  spoken  of  yes- 
tarday  are  of  the  party  that  came  from  Oregon  last  season  with  the 
Expectation  of  finding  California  little  short  of  a  Paradse  but  like  most 
of  the  pleasure  and  fortune  hunters  find  themselves  awfully  disapoiented 
and  are  willing  to  try  the  long  and  dangerous  road  back  to  Oregon 

Found  our  Horses  without  much  difficulty  I  Returned  back  to 
Mr  Wolfscales  for  the  purpose  of  drying  some  beif  as  Traveling  stock 

5  Procured  beef  of  Mr  Wolfscale  and  commenced  drying  has 
fine  young  cattle  and  they  are  now  fat  and  Excelent  Beef  Mr  Wolf- 
scale  has  (has)  a  Beautifull  Ranche  of  Three  Leages  of  land  finely 
situated  on  a  small  River  [Putah  Creek]  whare  it  bursts  through  a 
rough  mountain  an  enters  the  greate  Sacramento  plain  But  notwith- 
standing his  fine  place  and  rapid  increasing  stock  his  is  far  from  being 
satisfied  and  is  now  making  preperations  to  go  to  Oregon  next  season 
and  take  with  him  about  2,000  Head  of  neat  Cattle  and  a  beautifull 
herd  of  Horses 

6  nothing  can  look  more  beautifull  than  this  country  dose  at  this 
season  of  the  year  numerous  kinds  of  small  herbage  being  now  full 
grown  and  som  Quite  ripe  allthough  the  larger  Kinds  are  now  in  full 
Bloom  and  miles  of  this  greate  plain  is  Utterly  a  bed  of  Posies  and  pre- 
vailing species  being  deep  Bright  gold  yellow  so  bright  as  to  dazzel  the 
eye  sight  under  a  clear  sun  for  you  see  no  clouds  at  this  season  of  any 
consequence  and  now  is  the  middle  of  a  Californian  Summer  and  would 
answer  well  for  June  in  the  middle  states  fall  sown  wheat  now 

7  Clear  and  bright  with  a  dew  like  rain  finished  makeing  or 
drying  meat  and  Returned  to  Mr.  Gordns  again  the  nights  continue 

In  fact  this  is  a  common  trail  of  all  the  country  lying  near  the 
pacific  coast  while  the  interior  especially  the  low  vallies  are  scorched 
with  drough  and  night  and  day  for  4  months  at  least  every  season  and 


some  seasons  occasionally  pass  of  without  any  rain  such  summers 
become  so  dry  as  for  to  distroy  Quantities  of  stock  and  human  lives 
likewise  if  they  Exercise  much  during  the  day  But  at  such  times  the 
inhabitants  of  the  interior  remove  to  the  mountains 

Along  the  coast  However  no  season  passes  without  rain  and  every 
morning  has  its  fog  and  every  afternoon  its  sea  Breeze  a  coat  is 
comfortable  every  morning  the  year  round  and  you  find  woolen  cloth- 
ing necessary  during  the  whole  day  very  frequently 

8  arived  at  M'^  Gordons  last  Evening  mad  a  tolerable  show  for 
rain  and  this  morning  still  shews  lowering  But  the  time  for  much 
rain  in  this  vally  is  now  passed  allthough  rains  are  frequent  yet  on  the 
coast  and  not  unfrequent  in  the  mountains 

9  a  slight  shower  of  rain  fell  last  night  the  day  clear  and  pleasant 
with  a  strong  west  wind 

10  another  light  shower  of  rain  fell  during  the  night  with  a  strong 
cool  wind  from  the  N.  our  company  slow  collecting  and  I  am  wait- 
ing for  some  one  to  pass  as  I  cannot  drive  my  pack  animals  alone 

It  is  imposable  to  hurry  any  person  in  California  whare  time  is  no 
object  and  every  man  must  have  his  own  time  to  sleep  and  move  about 
buissiness  as  though  he  was  pained  to  move  or  even  breathe 

11  and  12  Fine  cool  weather  this  is  the  common  season  for 
Planting  corn  Pumpkins  beans  and  Mellons 

13  Packed  up  and  lef  Mr  Gordons  on  our  way  to  Suitors  Fort  on 
the  same  Trail  that  we  passed  last  July  vegitation  now  full  grown 
and  the  mosketoes  proved  verry  troublesome  passed  Mr  Knights 
and  continued  down  the  sacreemento  river  along  a  (a)  small  horse 
Trail  the  only  Traveled  road  that  pases  through  or  rather  around  thies 
bay  of  St  Francisco 

A  short  distance  above  our  camp  apeared  a  large  colony  of  Shaggs 
(a  large  black  duck)  whare  they  ware  building  and  kept  up  a  con- 
tinual hoarse  squaking  all  night  while  innumerable  Quantities  of  Brant 
kept  screeming  in  a  large  Flag  march  in  an  aposite  direction  assisted 
by  the  howling  of  wolves 

14  Extremely  heavy  dew 

Left  our  musical  neighbours  and  proceeded  down  the  Trail  a  couple 
of  hours  which  [brought]  us  to  Mr.  [Thomas  M].  Hardy^  at  the 
Junction  of  the  sacremento  withe  Feather  Rivir  the  latter  is  one  of 
the  principle  Tributaries  of  the  sacrimento  and  is  about  200  yards 
wide  at  its  mouth  here  we  crossed  over  our  baggage  in  a  small  Canoe 
and  swam  our  animal  over  the  main  stream  being  upwards  of  400  yards 
over  Mr  Hardy  gave  us  his  assistance  all  being  safely  over  we 
packed  and  proceeded  up  Feather  about  7  mile  and  encamped       the 

DIARY,  APRIL,  1846  2o5 

whole  or  nearly  the  whole  of  the  country  pased  since  yestarday  noon  is 
overflown  in  high  water  and  is  now  well  stocked  with  moketoes  and 
water  fowl  The  mountains  ahead  shew  a  long  regular  chain  all  white 
with  snow  about  30  or  40  miles  distant 

15  Passed  M""  Nichols  [Nicholaus  Altgeier]  Early  and  got  direc- 
tions of  a  Dutchma  [n]  [probably  Altgeier]  how  to  steer  our  course  to 
Johnstons  &  Kizers  [William  Johnson  and  Sebastian  Keyser]  whare 
those  intending  to  go  to  the  states  are  assmbling  traveled  all  day 
steadily  over  a  dry  arid  plain  the  vegitation  not  exceding  three  inches 
high  generaly  composed  of  a  small  groth  of  weeds  now  in  bloom  and 
covering  the  earth  in  a  yallow  garment  the  whole  distance  we  had  to 
travel  this  morning  being  15  mile  we  encamped  in  all  Probability  far- 
ther of  [f]  from  our  Place  of  distination  than  we  ware  in  the  morning 
theere  being  no  such  thing  as  even  a  path  to  follow  and  I  advise  all 
travelers  hereafter  to  be  carefull  and  allways  take  their  own  Ideas  of 
the  rout  in  preferance  to  follow  the  directions  of  a  dutchman  for  he 
will  confus  all  the  small  Ideas  you  ever  had  in  place  of  giving  you  any 
new  ones 

16  Left  our  lost  camp  and  (and)  changed  our  course  in  a  con- 
trary direction  that  is  north  Instead  of  south  and  in  about  4  Hours 
steady  traveling  over  the  same  dry  hard  soil  we  came  in  sigh[t]  of 
civilization  again  if  cattl  Horses  and  Indians  can  be  so  called  arived 
at  M*"  [Lansford  W.]  Hastings  camp  on  Bear  creek  a  small  river  Run- 
ning into  Feather  River  about  noon  M""  Hastings  welcomed  us  to  his 
cam[p]  in  a  warm  and  Polite  manner  and  we  unpacked  under  the 
shade  of  a  spreading  oak  tree  —  Mr  Jonston  who  owns  the  Ranche  is 
like  all  of  his  California  neighbours  15  miles  from  the  nighest  inhabi- 
tant and  not  even  a  track  leading  to  or  from  his  place  at  this  season 
of  the  year  allthough  in  a  dry  time  all  the  emigration  from  the  states 

17  Purchased  a  beef  and  commenced  Drying  a  portion  for  sea 

18  Continued   in   camp   making   preperations The   weather 

could  not  be  finer  not  a  cloud  to  be  seen  and  the  beautifull  trans- 
parency of  Heavens  is  finely  accompanied  by  a  cool  northern  Breeze 

19  Still  Remain  in  camp  makeing  preperations 

20  Mr.  [Owen]  Sumner  [Sr.]  and  his  Family  arived  all  pre- 
pared for  their  Joumy  Mr  Sumner  has  been  in  Oregon  from  thence 
to  California  and  still  being  dissatisfied  is  now  returning  to  the  states 
again  after  haveing  [spent]  nearly  five  years  in  Traveling  from  place 
to  place  as  Likewise  a  small  fortune 

21  Cool  and  windy      all  the  company  that  we  expect  are  all 


assembled  and  consist  of  nineteen  men  three  women  and  three  children 
with  a  large  herd  of  Horses  and  mules 

22  Still  cool  with  a  strong  South  wind      verry  disagreeable 
several  light  showers  of  rain  fell  but  not  enough  to  lay  the  dust       18 

[Across  the  Sierra] 

23  Left  our  camp  in  the  valle  of  Bear  creek  and  commenced 
assending  the  mountains  which  approach  to  within  a  few  miles  of  our 
camp  our  travel  to  day  was  over  moderate  hills  cowered  with  dry 
shrubby  oaks  and  pine  timber  withe  various  small  open  glades  and  small 
prairies       soil  (hard  whare  dry)  of  a  dark  red  clay  mixed  in  gravel 

in  the  after  noon  we  met  two  Indians  or  rather  came  upon  them  who 
immediately  rushed  in  to  the  rocks  and  thickest  and  immediately  dis- 
appeared this  is  the  general  character  of  all  the  natives  of  the  moun- 
tains allthough  these  natives  are  within  a  few  miles  of  the  greate 
plains  and  look  down  upon  thair  half  civilized  neighbours  below  yet 
no  inducement  can  be  held  out  to  induce  them  to  come  down 

24  a  Keen  white  frost  covering  all  the  vegitation  made  an  early 
move  and  traviled  over  a  rough  uneven  range  of  hills  untill  late  in  the 
afternoon  had  several  views  of  the  snow  cape'*,  mountain  still 
Keeping  an  east  course  paralel  with  Bear  creek  came  to  deep  ravine 
all  most  perpendicular  over  which  upwards  of  50  wagons  had  passed 
last  autumn  with  a  greate  deal  of  labour  and  difficulty  came  to  spots 
of  new  fallen  snow  desended  into  the  Kenyon  of  Bear  creek  the 
snow  becomeing  more  plenty  as  we  passed  up  this  narrow  rocky  passage 
the  stream  roaring  and  pitching  over  it[s]  narrow  rocky  bed 

at  dusk  we  came  to  a  small  vally  surrounded  by  high  rugged  moun- 
tains mostly  covered  with  snow  which  to  all  appearance  had  lain  on 
the  earth  since  last  december  made  27  mile  and  encamped  on  a 
small  noil  which  was  bear  of  snow 

25  Spent  a  cold  uncomfortable  night  for  shortly  after  dark  the 
wind  arose  and  blew  a  strong  gale  all  night  from  the  snow  cap^  moun- 
tains which  stand  in  cold  and  awfull  grandure  a  few  miles  to  the 
East  we  ware  out  Early  Examining  the  vally  to  see  whare  our 
anemall  can  procure  the  best  grazing  moved  up  the  narrow  vally 
about  a  mile  pitched  our  tents  to  await  the  arival  of  some  of  our 
company  that  is  yet  behind  allthough  the  night  produced  ice  strong 
enough  to  bear  a  man  and  the  snow  reaches  down  into  the  vally  itself 
yet  the  young  grass  is  up  in  spots  sufficient  to  make  tolerable  graze- 
ing  here  we  expect  to  remain  several  days  before  we  attact  the 
region  of  all  most  Eternal  snow  and  ice  which  is  not  more  than  one 
mile  ahead 

DIARY,  APRIL,  1846  2o7 

26  Remain  in  camp  this  is  warm  and  quite  comfortable  con- 
sidering our  greate  elevation  and  the  Quantity  of  snow  that  surrounds 
us  Nothing  can  be  more  tedious  and  disagreeable  than  waiting  for 
company  after  you  have  made  all  your  preperations  for  so  long  and 
dangerous  a  Journy  as  that  in  which  we  have  now  embarked  our 
party  consisting  of  six  men  only  we  considered  our  selves  two  weak  to 
venture  to  drive  our  way  through  and  it  apears  Quite  uncertain  when 
the  rear  of  our  company  will  Join  us  so  that  we  remain  here  in  con- 
tinual anxiou  suspence  without  any  object  to  relieve  anxiety  the  only 
animals  seen  in  this  vally  is  a  pair  of  small  Prairie  wolves  which  anoy 
us  by  eating  off  the  raw  hide  tugs  which  we  have  to  tie  up  our  animals 
and  allthough  the  wolves  are  scarcely  ever  out  of  sight  yet  they  are  so 
watchfull  that  we  cannot  come  in  gunshot  of  them 

27  [Misplaced  in  the  MS]  <^^\[\  remain  in  camp  waiting  for  more  com- 
pany      stiff  Frost  every  night  in  region  of  snow  and  Ice 

Walked  out  to  the  N.  E,  of  the  vally  on  the  point  of  a  Ledge  of 
rock  here  you  have  a  view  or  touch  of  the  sublime  awfull  the  first 
thing  that  attracts  your  notice  is  a  high  rough  ridge  of  snow  cap*^. 
mountains  proceede  a  little  further  the  ridge  desends  in  front  into 
an  impassable  cliff  of  Black  rocks  divested  of  any  Kind  of  covering 
still  further  and  (and)  you  behold  a  river  dashing  through  an  awfull 
chasm  of  rocks  several  thousand  feet  below  you  your  head  becomes 
dizzy  and  you  may  change  the  [view]  to  [the]  right  here  at  the 
distance  you  have  ridges  of  snow  and  ridges  of  pine  timber  to  the 
Left  you  have  a  distant  view  of  the  eternal  cliffs  of  black  volcanic  rocks 
that  bound  the  river  Eubor 

28  Still  Remain  in  camp  allthough  all  the  company  that  we  had 
Eexpected  arived  yestarday  Evening  and  it  is  thought  by  those  best 
acquainted  [with]  this  rout  that  it  will  be  impracticable  to  cross  the 
mountains  at  this  time  several  of  us  are  However  verry  anxious  to 
try  and  assertain  that  fact  several  large  grey  Bear  ware  seen  this 
morning       25  [miles.] 

29  Left  our  camp  on  bear  Creek  immediately  assended  a  steep 
mountain  to  the  south  side  of  the  vally  and  in  about  one  hours  ride 
came  to  the  snow  turned  and  wound  around  the  south  side  [of]  a 
mountain  to  avoid  the  deep  drifts  of  snow  that  completely  filled  the 
small  vallies  about  noon  came  to  the  Euba  [Yuba]  river  running 
N.  W.  Kept  up  the  stream  several  miles  when  we  found  the  snow 
so  deep  on  the  W.  side  that  we  could  not  travel  crossed  over  to  the 
E  side  of  the  stream  and  Kept  up  near  a  rough  granite  mountain 
through  immence  drifts  of  snow  and  water  the  day  being  Quite 
warm  the  ravine  neare  flooded  withe  water  and  deep  in  snow  the  whole 


of  the  way  for  road  we  had  none  at  all  is  covered  thickly  with  a 
large  grothe  of  pine  and  Firr  a  short  time  before  sundown  we  came 
to  a  halt  on  the  steep  rough  side  of  a  point  of  rocks  whare  we  found 
bear  ground  Enough  to  bearly  camp  on  and  not  a  spear  of  grass  for 
our  poor  animal  which  had  traveled  all  day  in  snow  and  mud  so  we  tied 
them  up  immediately  after  unpacking  the  Euba  roring  through  its 
snowy  bed. 

30  Early  under  way  in  hope  that  the  snow  would  bear  us  to  travel 
over  the  crust  but  as  it  did  not  [freeze]  much  during  the  night  we 
found  our  progress  but  slow  all  the  ravines  running  full  of  water 
under  the  snow  our  pack  horses  ware  continually  stuck  fast  and 
Floundering  in  the  snow  to  avoid  this  we  assended  a  steep  rocky 
mountain  to  the  north  of  our  rout  but  on  ariving  near  the  top  we  found 
the  snow  much  deeper  and  (and)  as  it  had  not  been  much  thawed 
during  the  day  privious  it  would  not  carry  us  atall  however  after  an 
hours  plunging  and  several  times  repacking  we  at  length  desended  again 
to  an  open  Prarie  vally  that  [lies]  at  the  immediate  head  of  Euba  and 
about  noon  came  to  an  Entire  halt  for  the  rest  of  the  day  haveing  made 
3  miles 

May  the  First  1846 

Got  under  way  early  the  [snow]  was  hard  Enough  to  bear  up 
handsomely  some  2  miles  when  we  arived  at  the  summit  of  the  moun- 
tain (the  snow  being  from  3  to  8  feet  deep)  here  we  commenced 
the  desent  over  steep  Pricipices  rough  granite  Rock  covered  in  many 
places  through  the  chasms  with  snow  15  or  20  feet  deep  and  luckily 
for  us  we  lost  no  horses  allthough  we  had  to  force  them  down  several 
perpendicular  cliffs  afer  about  3  hours  unpacking  and  repacking  we 
succeeded  in  clearing  the  steepest  pitches  of  the  whole  length  of  which 
is  not  one  mile  you  may  imagine  that  we  felt  a  happy  relief  to  find 
ourselves  on  bear  ground  one  more  which  we  found  at  the  head  of 
truckys  [Donner]  lake  a  small  sheet  of  water  about  two  miles  in 
length  and  half  a  mile  wide  the  N  hill  sides  being  intirely  clear  of 
snow  but  verry  little  green  vegitation  made  six  miles  and  encamped 
at  the  foot  of  the  Lake 

2  Proceeded  down  the  vally  of  Truckee^.  River  through  open  pine 
woods  and  here  we  first  saw  the  plains  covered  with  wild  sage  the 
chain  of  mountains  we  have  Just  past  is  the  same  called  the  cascade 
chain  in  Oregon  and  is  generally  covered  with  several  Kinds  of  Pine 
Firr  and  other  evergreen  timber.  and  here  I  found  out  that  I  had  the 
misfortune  to  loose  my  gunlock  some  whare  in  the  Everlasting  snows 
that  we  had  Just  pase^.  we  made  a  short  days  travel  and  encamped 
on  Johns  creek  to  recriut  our  half  starved  animals  who  had  been  three 

DIARY,  MAY,  1846  2o9 

days  and  two  nights  without  a  mouthfull  of  forrage  haveing  traveled 
not  more  than  6  miles  this  camp  is  in  a  large  cove  in  the  mountains 
which  are  all  covered  whit  in  snow  now  melting  rapidly  on  the  lower 
ranges  or  hill  the  vally  however  is  barren  and  no  signs  of  game  is  to 
be  seen      a  few  naked  natives  ware  seen  to  day 

3  Proceeded  on  Early  about  4  miles  to  a  fine  vally  of  green  grass 
whare  we  unpacked  again  for  the  day  to  give  our  animals  a  chance  to 
recruit  after  their  long  and  hard  fatiegue  several  showers  of  snow 
fell  during  the  morning  and  the  day  was  cool  and  Blustring  with  the 
drifts  of  snow  several  natives  have  been  about  our  camp  and  appear 
to  be  friendly  they  are  a  poor  race  and  their  country  is  poorly  sup- 
plied with  game  and  [they]  manafacture  a  kind  [of]  robe  of  Rabbit 
skins  which  they  cut  into  small  stripes  and  weave  them  togather  with 
the  lint  of  some  kind  of  weeds  from  which  they  Likewis  make  ropes  for 
snares  and  fishing  tackel  in  the  evening  it  commenced  snowing  rapedly 
and  the  snofell  several  inches  deep  so  you  may  imagin  that  we  spent 
no  verry  comfortable  night  it  slaked  up  toward  morning  This  if 
vally  it  may  be  called  is  Quite  uneven  and  generally  covered  in  pine 
timber  not  of  the  best  Quality  Here  likewise  we  saw  large  camace 
marshes  on  which  the  natives  at  this  season  of  the  [year]  Exist  mostly 
in  a  raw  state 

4  as  the  snow  covered  all  the  grass  we  packed  and  ware  early  on 
the  way  crossed  Quite  a  large  creek  which  has  been  called  wind 
River  a  tributary  of  Truckeys  River  and  proceeded  to  cross  a  consid- 
erable of  a  ridge  and  desended  again  into  a  small  rich  vally  8  miles 
from  our  former  encampment  the  natives  are  still  around  our  en- 
campent  nearly  naked  and  do  not  seem  to  complain  of  cold  allthough 
we  can  hardly  get  clothes  enough  on  us  to  keep  ourselves  comfortable 
about  noon  the  sun  shone  out  a  few  minuets  which  desolved  the  most 
of  the  new  fallen  snow  in  southerm  exposures  but  the  evening  was  verry 
cold  and  wind[y]  with  some  few  flakes  of  fine  snow  but  considerable 
snow  fell  on  the  mountains  only  a  few  miles  from  us  —  The  tribe  we  are 
now  passing  through  call  themselves  as  well  as  understood  Washee 

5  A  cool  night  proceeded  S  Easteerly  about  4  miles  and  came  to 
the  main  Truckles  River  whare  it  first  leaves  the  timbred  mountains 
and  Enters  the  open  Bald  hills  which  would  be  mountains  in  any  other 
country  The  river  is  about  40  yards  wide  and  falls  rapidly  over  a 
rough  rocky  bed  the  weather  cloudy  cool  and  a  strong  west  wind 
continually  blowing  to  day  for  the  first  since  we  set  out  no  snow  is 
to  be  seen  ahead  but  any  Quantity  is  to  be  seen  a  little  to  the  south 
of  our  rout      continued  down  the  valy  of  the  River  6  miles  and  en- 


camped  in  a  fine  vally  of  Excelent  grass  one  aged  native  followed 
us  from  our  Last  encampment  and  seems  to  have  greate  attatchment  for 
us  or  for  the  provisions  that  he  can  beg  the  chasm  that  Truckles 
River  runs  in  for  it  cannot  be  caled  a  vally  is  verry  rocky  mostly  of 
small  sized  stones  all  granite  or  Baysalt  with  various  mixtures 

6  proceeded  down  the  river  crossing  and  takeing  the  South  side 

at  about  8  miles  we  came  to  a  deep  muddy  Brook  running  through  a 
handsome  prairie  vally  went  up  the  Brook  about  3  miles  before  we 
found  a  crossing  passed  down  along  side  of  a  steep  volcanick  moun- 
tain shewing  immence  Quantities  of  rough  slagg  and  other  vitrified 
matter  entered  the  last  Kenyon  and  passed  down  to  a  small  vally 
whare  stoped  for  the  night  the  day  was  extremely  rough  and  windy 
the  wind  Blowing  from  the  S.  W.  so  strong  that  it  nearly  blew  some  of 
the  Ladies  from  their  saddles  and  we  could  see  that  the  mountains 
behind  us  experienced  an  awfull  snow  storm  while  we  ware  nearly  blest 
with  sunshine  a  feew  spits  of  snow  and  rain  fell  on  us  and  we  suf- 
fered from  the  cold.      our  course  a  little  N  of  E.       12  miles 

7  A  little  before  day  it  began  to  snow  and  snowed  rapidly  untill 
about  noon  haveing  a  bad  camp  for  our  animals  we  packed  up  and 
moved  on  down  the  river  about  6  miles  it  continued  to  snow  all  the 
way  but  finding  better  pasture  we  stoped  all  our  progress  yestarday 
and  to  day  the  mountains  on  Either  side  are  bare  of  timber  verry  high 
and  ruged  mostly  composed  of  Baysalt,  Granite  and  an  occasional 
ridge  of  rough  slate  we  have  seen  no  game  larger  than  a  rabbit  and 
but  verry  few  of  them  about  one  oclock  the  sun  broke  out  and  the 
snow  soon  disappeared  in  the  [v]  allies  (afternoon)  continued  down 
the  south  side  of  the  river.  verry  high  rounded  bluff  and  in  fact 
mountains  approach  so  near  that  we  had  to  assend  one  of  them  ly^ 
miles  of  steep  assent  brought  us  to  the  top  immediately  desended 
again  to  the  river  and  continued  down  encamped  at  sun  set  emmidst 
the  most  subbime  specimens  of  volcanic  mountains  all  rounded  and 
made  up  of  all  colours  and  hues  from  brick  red  to  chalk  white  13 
miles  today 

8  After  unpacking  our  horses  some  one  of  our  party  examined  a 
floating  Fishing  machien  that  lay  a  fuw  steps  from  us  moored  in  the 
river  and  (and)  found  an  old  Indian  that  had  been  in  managing  his 
fishing  spears  when  we  rode  up  and  was  so  frightned  that  it  was  with 
some  difficulty  that  we  coaxed  him  out  after  some  [delay]  however 
he  gained  courage  and  came  out  and  slept  with  us  during  the  night 
this  morning  he  made  us  a  present  of  several  beautifull  large  salmon 
Trout  and  we  [left]  him  to  persue  his  fishing  again  unmolested 

Persued  our  way  doun  the  river  about  6  miles  to  whare  we  leave  to 

DIARY,  MAY,  1846  211 

cross  the  plains  for  the  sink  of  Marys  river      here  Truckies  river 
makes  a  great  bend  turning  nearly  N  and  falls  into  a  lake  at  some  12 
miles  distant       the  day  is  Quite  cold  with  a  strong  N.  W.  wind 
vegetation  Just  begining  to  spring  and  many  places  the  willow  scarcely 
shews  the  bud 

The  several  parties  which  have  passed  through  this  region  have  each 
given  this  stream  a  different  name  Truckies  River  and  Salmon  Trout 
River  But  as  the  tribe  of  natives  inhabiting  this  stream  and  the 
ajacent  country  call  themselves  the  Waushew  tribe  or  nation  I  think 
it  would  [be]  crrect  to  call  the  stream  by  the  same  name  viz  Waushee 

9  Struck  of  to  the  East  leaveing  the  River  to  take  it  course 
north  soon  came  near  the  pount  of  a  low  range  of  Black  volcanic 
mountains  and  observed  numerous  specimins  of  rock  formed  by  con- 
creeton  from  spring  that  must  have  existed  many  years  since  in  fact 
all  the  country  passed  through  to  day  has  at  some  distant  period  been 
one  immence  boiling  caldron  and  is  now  strewed  over  with  some  thou- 
sands of  upright  rocks  which  have  been  one  immence  projectors  of 
Liquid  steam  and  have  discharged  immence  Quantities  of  mud  which 
now  fills  the  whole  plain  over  which  we  pass^.  and  several  miles  per- 
haps 8  of  this  days  travel  was  over  a  white  sheet  of  salt  incrusted 
passed  over  and  in  sight  of  Large  beds  of  Chalk  Likewise  which  has 
been  involved  in  Boiling  water  a  low  rang  of  Black  slagg  lay  to  our 
left  all  day  of  the  moste  thirsty  sterile  appearance  near  sun  set  we 
stoped  at  some  holes  of  Brackish  water  haveing  traveled  30  miles  to  day 

at  about  15  miles  or  half  way  from  Waushee  river  to  the  first  water 
near  May^  Lake  still  exist  a  cauldron  of  Boiling  water  no  stream 
isues  from  it  [at]  present  but  it  stands  in  several  pools  Boiling  and 
again  disappearing  some  of  these  pools  have  beautifull  clear  water 
Boiling  in  them  and  others  emit  Quantites  of  mud  into  one  of  these 
muddy  pools  my  little  water  spaniel  Lucky  went  poor  fellow  not 
knowing  that  it  was  Boiling  hot  he  deliberately  walked  in  to  the  caldron 
to  slake  his  thirst  and  cool  his  limbs  when  to  his  sad  disappointment 
and  my  sorrow  he  scalded  himself  allmost  insantly  to  death  I  felt 
more  for  his  loss  than  any  other  animal  I  ever  lost  in  my  life  as  he  had 
been  my  constant  companion  in  all  my  wandering  since  I  Left  Mil- 
wawkee  and  I  vainly  hoped  to  see  him  return  to  his  old  master  in  his 
native  village  (But  such  is  nature  of  all  earthy  hopes)  for  several 
miles  back  we  had  been  traveling  over  the  bed  of  a  former  Lake  which 
to  all  appearanc  has  not  been  dry  more  than  10  or  15  years,  and  now 
forms  a  salt  plain  and  how  far  to  the  South  it  extends  I  canot  tell 


[Eastward  to  Missouri] 

ayman  went  eastward  in  company  with  Lansford  W.  Hastings,  James 
M.  Hudspeth,  and  a  party  including  sixteen  other  men,  three  women  and 
two  children.  Old  Caleb  Greenwood,  who  had  been  a  trapper  in  the  da}^ 
of  Manuel  Lisa,  had  been  over  the  route  in  1844,  with  the  Stephens- 
Townsend  immigrants.  Hastings  had  also  entered  California  on  this 
trail  in  the  next  year.  Both  came  by  way  of  Fort  Hall,  down  the 
Humboldt  and  across  the  Truckee  divide. 

The  route  described  in  Clyman's  diary  was  doubtless,  in  a  general 
way,  the  path  followed  by  these  earlier  pioneers  and  by  Fremont  on 
his  third  trip.  Fremont's  feat  of  pioneering  at  this  time  was  the 
crossing  of  the  Desert  of  the  Great  Salt  Lake,  which  had  not  been 
attempted  at  this  point  before,  so  far  as  known.  Some  interest  there- 
fore attaches  to  the  detailed  description  of  the  road  by  Cl)nman  and 
the  subsequent  dispute  of  Clyman  and  Hastings  over  the  merits  of 
Fremont's  trail  which  later  came  to  be  known  as  Hastings'  Cut-Off. 
Clyman's  meeting  with  the  Donner  party  and  other  trains  is  also  of 
importance  —  the  more  so  since  this  portion  of  the  diary  was  missing 
at  the  time  copies  of  the  other  journals  were  made  for  Bancroft. 

Clyman  left  Johnson's  Ranch  on  Bear  River  on  April  23,  1846, 
and  after  delays  due  to  the  snow  at  this  early  season,  encamped  on 
the  30th  at  what  was  doubtless  Summit  Valley  at  the  head  of  the 
Yuba  River.  The  train  crossed  the  Truckee  pass  the  next  day  and 
stopped  at  the  foot  of  Donner  Lake  —  called  by  them  Truckee  Lake. 
On  the  2d  of  May  they  reached  "Johns  Creek"  —  probably  the  stream 
now  called  Prosser  Creek  —  and,  traveling  slowly,  encamped  on  "Wind 
River"  —  doubtless  the  Little  Truckee  River  —  on  the  4th.  The  fol- 
lowing evening  they  approached  the  Truckee  again  from  the  north, 
near  the  present  site  of  Verdi,  Nevada,  and  went  on  through  Truckee 
Meadows,  near  what  is  now  Reno,  on  the  6th.  On  the  9th  they  left 
the  river  at  the  bend  where  the  town  of  Wadsworth  now  stands,  and 
evening  found  them,  after  a  long  dry  march,  at  the  hot  springs 
eighteen  miles  southwest  of  the  southern  end  of  Humboldt  Lake.  Here 
the  narrative,  as  given  in  Clyman's  diary,  is  resumed. 

[Book  8,  continued] 
[May]  10  [1846]  again  under  way  and  (on)  rather  a  singular 
road  we  had  mostly  over  a  bear  salt  plain  which  had  a  few  years  since 
been  covered  in  water  and  costituted  Ogdens  [Humboldt]  Lake  which 
no  doubt  when  Mr  Ogden  visited  this  region  some  25  [18]  years  since 
was  Quite  a  large  Lak  but  shallow  now  nearly  dried  up  and  from 
appearances  will  in  a  few  years  more  intirely  disappear  and  become 
the  most  dry  thirsty  [spot]  imaginable  as  that  portion  which  has  now 
dried  off  will  plainly  indicate  Nearly  the  whole  of  our  days  travel 
20  miles  to  day  and  a  part  of  yestarday  was  evidently  under  water 
but  a  few  yares  since  now  at  this  time  Marys  [Humboldt]  river 
sinks  and  disappears  intirely  some  8  or  10  miles  above  the  small  shallow 
pond  know  as  Ogdens  Lake  and  this  whole  region  is  now  intirely  dried 

MAP  3 
Emigrant  trails  to  Oregon  and  California  in  1844-45. 

DIARY,  MAY,  1846  213 

up  and  has  the  most  thirsty  appearance  of  any  place  I  ever  wit- 
nessed The  whole  of  several  large  vallies  is  covered  in  a  verry  fin 
clay  or  mud  which  has  vimited  from  the  bowels  of  the  earth  mixed 
with  scalding  water  from  the  immence  cauldrons  of  heat  below 

11  want  of  space  has  prevented  me  from  noting  that  several 
Lengthy  ranges  of  mountains  are  visible  and  in  particular  to  the  East 
[Humboldt  Range]  whose  tops  are  covered  in  snow  one  Likewise  in 
the  S.  allso  N.  E.  all  appearanty  seperatee  and  distinct.  allso  that 
we  changed  our  course  from  E.  to  nearly  N*  on  our  arival  at  ogdens, 

Continued  up  the  valy  of  marys  river  passed  over  Quantities  of 
concreete  rocks  of  various  curious  shapes  and  Sizes  the  mountains 
that  bound  this  vally  are  all  of  vitrified  rock  of  various  hues  but  mostly 
of  dark  red  and  brown  the  whole  of  the  vally  is  composed  [of] 
whiteish  volcanic  mud  and  bears  no  vegitation  except  a  hard  thorny 
shub  called  by  voyagers  grease  wood  and  this  species  seems  to  thrive 
without  moisture  at  10  miles  we  struck  the  River  a  small  stream 
not  more  than  20  yards  wide  running  in  a  deep  channel  of  fine  clay 
and  the  water  completely  saturated  with  this  same  mud  as  thick  or 
thicker  than  the  Misouri  in  a  freshet  to  day  the  snow  seemed  to 
disappear  rapidly  on  the  mountain  in  front  of  our  camp  none  of  the 
highlans  bear  any  vegitation 

12  still  up  the  River  over  one  of  the  most  Steril  Barren  countys 
I  ever  traversed  the  hills  and  mountains  producing  no  kind  of  vegi- 
tation and  the  more  elevated  part  of  the  vally  bearing  nothing  but  a 
small  shrubby  thorn  and  not  even  moist  enough  to  poduce  the  much 
dispised  wild  sage  from  all  appearancees  their  has  not  fallen  any 
rain  or  snow  since  the  California  emigration  passed  here  last  September 
except  a  light  shower  of  snow  that  has  fallen  a  few  days  since  and 
still  remains  on  the  mountain  in  nearly  all  directions  the  grass  has 
made  but  a  feeble  start  and  our  animals  fare  verry  poorly  the  wil- 
lows have  not  yet  buded  and  the  earth  is  so  parched  that  we  are  all 
day  covered  in  a  cloud  of  dust  allmost  sufficating  to  pass  through  and 
the  water  is  Likewise  poor  when  obtained  as  there  is  none  at  all  Except 
in  the  river  and  the  banks  are  so  steep  and  high  that  few  places  can 
be  found  to  desend  to  [it]       25  [miles] 

13  Early  under  way  continued  up  the  River  the  sun  arose  as 
usual  without  a  speck  of  cloud  or  mist  for  bothe  appear  to  be  allmost 
unknown  to  this  region  here  the  river  which  hitherto  has  been  coming 
all  most  drect  from  the  north  makes  a  bend  and  comes  more  East- 
wardly  the  vally  [contains]  the  same  volcanic  mud  now  become 
more  dry  and  allmost  as  loose  as  ashes      at  about  6  miles  we  came  to 


a  fine  vally  of  grass  and  umpacked  to  let  our  animals  graze  a  Large 
vally  seem[s]  to  run  a  great  distance  north  waard  The  water  in  the 
River  is  much  clearer  than  whare  we  first  struck  it  below  and  as  earthe 
is  much  dryer  so  also  it  is  much  Looser  in  as  much  that  our  animals 
many  timis  sink  up  to  their  knees  in  the  dry  earth  our  whole  com- 
pany now  Togather  consists  of  19  men  and  boys  3  women  and  2 
children  and  about  150  mules  and  Horses  too  many  for  this  rout  at 
so  early  a  season  of  the  year  as  the  grass  has  Just  began  to  shoot  and 
is  yet  young  and  short  and  we  will  probably  devide  our  company  in  a 
few  days 

14  up  the  River  on  an  nearly  E  direction  to  day  25  miles  with 
a  nearly  Exact  sameness  two  large  vallies  seem  to  spread  themselves 
one  to  the  North  and  the  other  to  the  South  passing  between  two 
mountains  composed  of  Black  slag  the  most  Easterly  ridge  [East 
Range]  is  covered  in  snow  near  the  tops  But  allthough  their  appears 
to  be  a  considerable  depth  of  snow  on  several  of  these  mountains  now 
it  would  seem  thawing  off  rapidly  yet  so  thirsty  is  the  sides  and  so 
greate  the  evaporation  that  not  a  drop  of  water  reaches  the  vally 
severall  Horses  gave  out  to  day  and  from  the  appearance  of  many 
others  I  begin  to  conclude  that  californea  Horses  are  not  a  hardy  race 
of  animals  So  perfectly  Barren  and  sterile  is  this  region  of  volcanic 
matter  that  scarcely  a  bird  is  heard  to  chirp  to  the  rising  Sun  and  not 
even  the  signe  of  an  animal  Except  Rabbits  ever  ventures  to  make  a 
precarious  subsistance  on  these  plains  a  strong  South  wind  is  blow- 
ing and  some  thin  streaks  of  clouds  are  seen  gathering  around 

[Misplaced  in  the  MS] 

15  Still  up  the  River  after  afeew  Hours  ride  we  chnged  our 
course  nearly  East  for  some  miles  and  our  whole  course  to  day  has 
perhaps  nearly  N.  E.^^^  the  same  appearances  as  to  soil  [as]  usual 
However  to  day  we  passed  several  sand  drifts  no  Timber  has  yet 
been  seen  in  any  part  of  the  high  or  Lowlans  Bordering  on  this  stream 
except  willow  and  a  few  other  shrebs  of  verry  Stinted  groth  the 
same  want  of  moisture  still  continues  and  the  Travelling  is  extremely 
dusty  espicially  to  day  as  we  had  an  aft  wind  (as  the  Sailors  say) 
Travel  to  day  about  22  miles  From  all  appearances  this  River  has 
overflowed  it[s]  banks  and  flooded  all  the  vally  as  the  low  ground  still 
indicates  by  a  feeble  groth  of  Bull  rushes  water  flags  and  other  vegita- 
bles  know[n]  to  marsh  lands  as  like  wise  the  old  stalks  of  large  weeds 
on  the  plains  but  at  present  very  little  grass  and  no  weeds  are  seen 

16  Continued  up  in  an  E.  &  S  E.  course  [Big  Bend  of  the  Hum- 

154  Near  present  site  of  Winnemucca,  Nevada. 

DIARY,  MAY,  1846  215 

boldt]  on  the  South  side  of  the  River  30  miles  a  few  miles  from  our 
Last  camp  we  passed  a  groupe  Boiling  springs  near  y^  a  mile  S.  of  the 
Trail  passed  a  range  of  low  slate  mountains  [Hot  Spring  Range] 
thorugh  which  the  river  passes  and  makes  a  Large  bend  to  the  South 
and  a  large  vally  extinding  bothe  sides  of  the  river  nearly  all  of  which 
however  is  covered  in  many  places  several  inches  thick  in  a  white 
saline  crust  nearly  strong  enough  to  bear  the  weight  of  a  man  and  in 
most  other  places  shrubby  stoots  of  Prarie  thorn  know[n]  by  the 
tra[v]elers  in  this  region  as  grease  wood  passed  one  Slough  of  stand- 
ing water  the  first  I  have  seen  since  traveling  the  stream  Large 
vallies  seem  to  extend  in  various  directions  to  day  bound  on  either 
side  by  mountains  of  Slag  and  Scoria  Soil  volcanic  mud  or  clay  to 
so  dry  and  loose  that  our  animals  sunk  in  up  to  their  knees  observed 
some  willows  begining  to  bud  several  days  have  [been]  Quite  smoky 
and  it  seem  to  increase  allthough  no  fires  are  to  be  seen  the  whole 
of  to  day  has  [been]  verry  crooked  but  the  earth  is  so  dry  that  we 
can  not  ventur  [any]  cut  off 

17  Passed  up  the  full  S  E.  26  miles  and  encamped  whare  the 
river  breakes  between  two  Black  slag  hills  [Battle  Mountain]  which 
form  nearly  regular  mountains  N.  and  S.  passed  over  several  miles 
of  saline  matter  in  fact  the  highlands  and  mountains  seem  to  be 
formed  intirely  of  slag  and  scoria  and  the  vallies  of  volcanic  mud  salt 
and  soda  the  vegitation  wild  Sage  and  grease  wood  a  strong  wind 
blew  from  the  south  during  the  fore  noon  but  shifted  to  the  west  in 
the  evening  and  blew  up  such  a  dust  that  the  sun  was  completely  ob- 
scured all  the  afternoon  this  would  seem  Strang  but  no  stranger 
than  true  for  the  vallies  are  composed  of  find  mud  thrown  from  the 
bowels  of  the  earth  in  greate  Quantites  mixed  with  Boiling  water  and 
when  left  exposed  to  the  weather  for  an  unknown  time  the  water  being 
evaporated  by  the  sun  leaves  this  remarkable  fine  clay  which  is  soft 
and  fine  flour  whirlwinds  and  other  strong  currents  of  wind  carry 
large  Quantitees  to  a  great  hight  resembling  a  white  smoke  which  in 
times  of  dry  weather  and  strong  winds  completely  obscures  the  light 
and  resemblesi  thin  light  fog 

18  Early  under  way  the  apearance  of  the  county  the  same 
30  miles  First  10  miles  East  then  S.  E,  The  [day]  was  still  and 
pleasant  the  valy  Large  grass  short  and  none  except  near  the 
water  our  animals  begin  to  [find]  hard  travel  and  poor  feed 
mountains  the  same  Cinder  and  Slag  many  of  them  caped  in  snow 
and  frost  in  the  vally  every  night  since  we  commenced  assending  the 
river  the  rever  pretty  much  the  same  except  clearer  and  more 
swift      no  timber  yet  seen  except  willow  confined  to  the  margin  of  the 


Stream  the  white  saline  matter  not  Quite  so  plenty.  a  high  white 
snowey  mountain  [Cortez  Mountains]  seen  dead  a  head  at  some  con- 
siderable distance  Fresh  tracks  of  Indians  seen  in  the  vicinity  of 
camp  and  as  I  believe  the  first  seen  in  passing  up  this  stream  they 
are  not  however  supposed  to  be  dangerous  as  they  are  probably 
shoshones  devided  our  company  on  the  16  we  haveing  8  men  and 
37  animals.      Move  ahead 

19  In  a  few  miles  above  our  encampment  (we)  the  Trail  leaves 
the  River  and  assends  a  range  of  hills  or  mountains  of  no  greate  ele- 
vation and  mostly  formed  of  clay  and  loose  rock  about  half  way 
across  these  hills  is  several  springs  of  cool  water  crossed  over  and 
encamped  in  tolerable  good  grass  for  this  season  whole  distance  (16 
miles)  the  rever  passes  through  a  Kenyon  in  these  hill  and  is  diffi- 
cult for  Horsemen  to  follow  the  stream  across  the  river  from  our 
camp  is  a  lot  of  warm  springs  but  the  water  does  not  run  from  them 
about  Half  a  mile  above  our  camp  is  [a]  BeautifuU  running  Brook  of 
clear  water  [Maggie  Creek]  the  first  that  the  river  receives  from  the 
[Humboldt]  Lake  upwards  a  distance  of  more  than  200  miles  which 
proves  the  dr5aiess  of  this  country  and  the  xtreme  thirst5mess  of  the 
soil  if  soil  it  can  be  called  that  produces  so  stinted  a  groth  of  vegita- 
tiom  the  river  here  is  more  than  double  as  larg  as  it  was  whare  we 
first  struck  it  and  the  water  nearly  clear 

20  Up  the  stream  once  more  about  25  miles  In  about  one 
hours  ride  we  came  to  whare  the  river  Breaks  through  a  low  ruged 
mountain  [Fremont  canyon]  but  as  the  water  is  yet  low  we  had  no 
difficulty  in  passing  through  by  crossing  the  stream  several  times  this 
mountain  runs  nearly  N.  &.  S  above  it  opens  out  in  to  a  large  vally 
again  only  a  small  part  of  any  of  the  vally  is  stocked  in  grass  and  that 
neare  the  Stream      all  the  afternoons  travel  was  nearly  N.  &  N  E. 

a  few  miles  below  our  camp  on  the  South  side  of  the  river  as  a  singu- 
lar lot  of  Hot  spring  which  boil  and  bubble  like  cauldron  [s]  and  send 
off  a  large  Quantity  of  hot  water  into  the  river  which  is  only  a  feew 
rods  from  the  springs^^^ 

Some  of  the  hills  and  mountains  begin  to  shew  a  few  stinted  cedars 
on  thier  sides  to  day  passed  what  I  supposed  to  be  the  E  Branch 
[South  Fork]  of  Mary^  River  comeing  in  through  a  deep  Kenyon 
[Humboldt  Canyon]  from  a  range  of  snow  capd  mountains  [Ruby 
Range]  to  the  E  of  us 

21  On  the  way  again  as  usual  N.  E.  course  1  >^  hours  ride 
brought  us  to  whare  the  stream  came  through  a  Kenyon  for  a  short 

155  Near  present  site  of  Elko,  Nevada, 

DIARY,  MAY,  1846  217 

distance  but  the  trail  led  over  a  sandy  ridge  to  the  N  and  after  passing 
another  of  the  same  discription  we  came  to  a  handsome  little  Brook 
[North  Fork  of  Humboldt  River]  hading  to  the  N.  W.  On  each 
side  of  this  brook  the  earth  was  covered  white  with  a  salin  incrustation 
and  when  broke  By  the  tramping  of  our  mules  it  nearly  strangled  them 
and  us  causing  them  to  caugh  and  us  to  sneeze  at  14  miles  we  en- 
camped this  being  the  point^^^  whare  Mr  Freemant  intersected  the 
wagon  Trail  last  fall  on  his  way  to  California  and  Mr  Hastings  our 
pilot  was  anxious  to  try  this  rout  but  my  beleef  is  that  it  [is]  verry 
little  nearer  and  not  so  good  a  road  as  that  by  fort  Hall  our  en- 
campment is  in,  a  large  fine  looking  vally  but  too  cold  and  dry  for  any 
kind  of  grain  the  motmtains  which  are  no  greate  elivation  above  the 
plain  are  covered  nearly  half  way  down  in  snow 

22  after  long  consul taton  and  many  arguments  for  and  against  the 
two  different  routs  one  leading  Northward  by  fort  Hall  and  the  other 
by  the  Salt  Lake  we  all  finally  tooke  Fremonts  Trail  by  the  way  of 
the  Salt  Lake  Late  in  thee  day  the  Stream  brances  again  in  this 
vally  the  Larger  [Lamoille  Creek]  comeing  From  the  S  the  smaller 
[Bishop  Creek]  from  the  N.  up  this  Northern  branch  the  wagon 
Trail  leads  by  the  way  of  Fort  Hall 

Crosing  the  N.  Branch  we  struck  S.  E.  for  a  low  gap  [Humboldt 
Pass]  in  a  range  of  snow  cape^  mountains  soon  crossed  the  vally  and 
commenced  assending  the  mountain  out  of  which  isues  a  small  Brook 
[Secret  Creek,  now  called  Cottonwood  Creek]  followed  up  this  brook 
to  neare  its  source  and  encamped  nearly  on  the  siunmit  of  the  moim- 
tain  and  within  perhaps  less  than  one  mile  of  the  snow  the  air  was 
Quite  cool  and  a  few  drops  of  rain  fell.  on  this  elevated  ridge  the 
grass  we  found  to  be  nearly  full  grown  while  that  in  the  vally  was 
Quite  short  Here  I  observed  large  beds  of  rock  resembling  marble 
12  mile 

23  Late  in  the  evening  last  heard  rumbling  thunder  after  dark 
a  few  drops  of  rain  fell  The  night  was  cool  and  froze  a  little  in  fact 
every  night  has  produced  some  Ice  since  we  left  the  plains  of  Cali- 
fornia Early  this  morning  the  snow  fell  so  as  to  whiten  earth  at  our 
camp  and  laid  on  the  moimtains  all  day  another  shower  fell  during 
the  forenoon  Continued  withe  some  difficulty  to  follow  Freemonts 
trail  up  the  brook  to  a  handsome  little  valy  [Qover  Valley]  and  over 
a  ridge  to  a  nother  larger  vally  [Independence  Valley]  several 
small  streams  fall  into  this  vally  and  run  off  to  the  S  &  S  W  and  no 

156  Near  Halleck,  Nevada.  Talbot's  subdivision  of  Fremont's  party  had  evi- 
dently encountered  the  river  at  this  point.  Fremont  with  a  small  group  went 
across  the  desert  to  Walker's  Lake,  keeping  well  south  of  the  river  all  the  way. 


doubt  fall  into  marys  river  and  the  last  water  seen  passing  into  that 

Crossed  the  vally  S.  E.  and  assended  a  steep  narrow  mountain 
[Pequop  Range]  some  remnants  of  snow  drifts  ware  laying  on  the 
summit  of  this  mountain  desended  the  mountain  on  the  South  side 
to  a  large  spring  of  warm  water  flowing  into  a  large  vally  [Goshute 
Valley]  and  spreading  into  a  large  swale  covered  in  marsh  grass 
here  we  encamped  at  the  distanc  of  12  miles  the  day  was  cloudy 
and  several  light  showers  of  snow  fell  on  the  mountains 

24  S.  E.  across  the  vally  of  the  warm  spring  and  over  a  ridge  of 
hills  covered  with  shrubby  Junts  of  cedars  and  into  another  vally  of 
considerable  length  but  not  more  than  6  or  8  miles  wide  dis[t]ance 
to  day  14  miles  stoped  at  a  lot  of  small  springs  on  several  low 
mounds  but  so  thirsty  is  the  earth  that  the  water  does  not  run  more 
than  20  or  30  feet  before  it  all  disappears  to  the  S.  W.  of  this  vally 
the  hills  rise  in  considerable  peaks  [Toano  Range]  covered  in  snow  at 
this  time  animal  life  seem  all  most  Extinct  in  this  region  and  the 
few  natives  that  try  to  make  a  precarious  subsistanc  here  are  put  to 
all  that  ingenuety  can  invent  roots  herbs  insects  and  reptiles  are 
sought  for  in  all  directions  in  some  parts  moles  mice  and  gophers 
seem  to  be  Quite  plenty  and  in  order  to  precure  those  that  live  entirely 
under  the  surface  of  the  earth  when  a  suitable  place  can  be  found  a 
Brook  is  damned  up  a  ditch  dug  and  the  habitation  of  the  mole  in- 
undated when  the  poor  animal  has  to  take  to  the  surface  and  is  caught 
by  his  enemy 

25  again  under  way  E.  of  S  across  another  dry  clay  plain  covered 
in  shrubs  of  a  verry  dwarfish  character  and  over  as  dry  a  range  of  low 
mountains  clothed  in  dwarfish  cedars  and  Pines  Came  to  a  hole  of 
water  or  rather  a  cluster  of  small  springs^'^'^  which  like  the  last  night 
disappeared  in  the  parched  earth  immediately  here  we  stoped  and 
watered  and  nooned  on  again  nearly  east  to  a  rather  rough  looking 
rang  of  mountains  asended  and  found  several  snow  drifts  about  the 
summit  here  we  lost  Fremonts  trail  and  desended  a  southern  ravine 
to  all  appearanc  dry  as  a  fresh  burnt  brick  Kiln  unpacked  and 
prepared  ourselves  for  a  night  without  water  I  assended  one  of  the 
dry  Cliffs  and  to  my  astonishment  saw  a  well  of  good  cool  water 
from  the  top  of  this  rang  [Toano  Range]  we  could  have  a  fair  view  of 
one  of  those  greate  Salt  plains  you  may  give  some  Idea  of  its 
[extent]  when  I  assure  you  that  we  stood  near  the  snow  drifts  and 

1^7  This  is  evidently  Whitton  Spring,  near  Shafter,  Nevada,  where  Fremont 
iivided  his  party. 

DIARY,  MAY,  1846  219 

surveyed  this  plain  streching  in  all  directions  beyond  the  reach  of 

26  Spent  the  whole  day  in  searching  for  the  Trail  which  I  suc- 
ceeded in  finding  late  in  the  afternoon 

[Most  of  this  page  blank] 

27  Left  our  camp  near  the  top  of  the  mountain  an  took  a  N.  E. 
cours  to  a  high  ruged  looking  bute  [Pilot  Peak]  standing  prominent 
and  alone  with  the  tops  whitned  in  snow  [Went]  along  the  East 
side  of  this  bute  which  stands  in  the  salt  plains  to  near  the  Eastern 
point  22  miles  and  encamped  on  a  fine  spring  Brook  [Pilot  Peak 
Creek]  that  comes  tumbling  from  the  mountaim  in  all  its  purity  This 
bute  affrd's  numerous  springs  and  brooks  that  loose  themselves  imme- 
diately in  the  salt  plain  below  but  the  grass  is  plenty  generally  and 
the  main  bulk  of  the  county  produces  nothing  but  a  small  curly  thorn 
bush  winding  on  the  earth  To  the  S.  s.  E.  and  East  you  have  a 
boundless  salt  plain  without  vegitatiom  except  here  and  there  a  cliff  of 
bare  rocks  standing  like  monumental  pillars  to  commemorate  the  dis- 
tinction of  this  portion  of  the  Earth 

28  Left  our  camp  at  the  Snowy  or  more  properly  the  spring  Bute 
for  this  Bute  affords  several  fine  Brooks  and  took  the  Trail  East  and 
soon  entered  on  the  greate  salt  plain  the  first  plain  is  6  or  7  miles 
wide  and  covered  in  many  places  three  inchs  deep  in  pure  white 
salt  passed  an  Island  of  rocks  in  this  great  plain  and  entered  the 
greate  plain  over  which  we  went  in  a  bold  trot  untill  dusk  when  we 
Bowoiked  [bivouacked]  for  the  night  without  grass  or  water  and  not 
much  was  said  in  fact  all  filt  incouraged  as  we  had  been  enformed 
that  if  we  could  follow  M""  Fremonts  trail  we  would  not  have  more 
than  20  miles  without  fresh  water  In  fact  this  is  the  [most]  desolate 
country  perhaps  on  the  whole  globe  there  not  being  one  spear  of  vegi- 
tation  and  of  course  no  kind  of  animal  can  subsist  and  it  is  not  yet 
assertaind  to  what  extent  this  immince  salt  and  sand  plain  can  be 
south  of  whare  we  [are  now]       our  travel  to  day  was  40  miles 

29  As  soon  as  light  began  to  shew  in  the  East  we  ware  again  under 
way  crossed  one  more  plain  (to  cross)  and  then  assended  a  rough 
low  mountain  [Cedar  Mountain]  still  no  water  and  our  hopes  ware 
again  disapointed  Commenced  our  desent  down  a  ravine  made  14 
miles  and  at  length  found  a  small  spring  of  Brackish  water  [in  Spring 
Valley]  which  did  not  run  more  than  four  rods  before  it  all  disappeared 
in  the  thirsty  earth  but  mean  and  poor  as  the  water  was  we  and 
our  animals  Quenched  our  burning  thirst  and  unpacked  for  the  day 
after  our  rapid  travel  of  about  20  hours  and  30  hours  without  water 

30  At  an  Eearly  hour  we  ware  on  our  saddles  and  bore  south  4 


miles  to  another  small  spring  of  the  same  kind  of  water  stoped  and 
drank  and  continued  changing  our  course  to  S  E  passed  a  small  salt 
plain  [Skull  Valley]  and  several  large  salt  springs  changed  again  to 
E.  or  N.  of  E.  a  ruged  mountain  [Stansbury  Range]  to  oure  right  and 
a  salt  marsh  to  our  left  this  mountain  is  The  highist  we  have  seen 
in  these  plains  allthough  20  peaks  are  visable  at  all  tines  to  day  20 

M.  30  long  before  day  was  visibele  a  small  Bird  of  the  mocking 
bird  kind  was  heard  to  cheer  us  with  his  many  noted  Song  an  this  is 
the  only  singing  Bird  that  I  have  heard  for  the  last  10  days  in  fact 
this  desolaton  afords  subsistance  to  nothing  but  Lizards,  and  scorpions 
which  move  like  Ligntning  ove[r]  the  parched  Earthe  in  all  directions 
as  we  pass  along  the  spring  we  camp  at  to  night  is  large  and  deep 
sending  off  a  volume  of  Brackish  water  to  moisten  the  white  parched 
earth  nearly  all  the  rocks  seen  for  .7  days  pas<^.  is  Black  intersperced 
with  white  streaks  or  clouds  and  I  Judge  them  to  be  a  mixture  of 
Black  Bassalt  and  Quarts.  our  spring  has  greate  Quantities  of  fish 
in  it  some  of  considerable  size 

31  N.  E.  along  the  mountains  to  the  N.  Point  whare  is  an  ex- 
tensive spring  of  salt  water  after  turning  the  point  of  the  mountaim 
we  changed  again  to  the  S.  E.  along  betwen  the  moimtain  and  the 
greate  Salt  Lake^^^  Travel  to  day  20  miles  and  we  passed  some  IS 
or  20  large  springs  mostly  warm  and  more  or  less  salt  some  of  them 
verry  salt  camped  at  some  holes  of  fresh  water  [Tooele  Valley]  in 
sight  are  several  snowy  mountains  in  fact  snow  may  be  seen  in  all 
most  all  drections  and  two  peaks  one  to  the  S.  W.  and  the  other  to 
the  S.  E.  seem  to  be  highg  enough  to  contain  snow  all  the  season.  we 
have  had  two  nights  only  since  we  left  the  Settelments  of  California 
without  frost  and  to  day  is  cold  enough  to  ride  with  a  heavy  coat  on 
and  not  feel  uncomfortabl 

168  Near  Timpie,  Utah,  on  the  Western  Pacific  R.  R. 

BOOK  9 

[Front  Coverl 

1846    .   .   . 

James  Clyman  .  .  . 

1846    June  the  V^. 

proceeded  nearly  east  to  the  point  of  a  high  mountain  [Oquirrh 
Mountains]  that  Bounds  the  Southern  part  of  the  greate  salt  lake 
I  observed  that  this  lake  like  all  the  rest  of  this  wide  spread  Sterility 
has  nearly  wasted  away  one  half  of  its  surface  since  1825  when  I 
floated  around  it  in  my  Bull  Boate^^^  and  we  crossed  a  large  Bay  of 
this  Lake  with  our  horses  which  is  now  dry  and  continue**  up  the  South 
side  of  the  Lake  to  the  vally  [Salt  Lake  Valley]  near  the  outlet  of  the 
Eutaw  Lake  and  encamped  at  a  fine  large  spring  of  Brackish  water 
20  miles  (to)  to  day 

after  unpacking  several  Indians  ware  seen  around  us  after  con- 
siderable signing  and  exertion  we  got  them  to  camp  and  they  apeared 
to  be  friendly 

In  this  vally  contrary  to  any  thing  we  had  yet  seen  Lately  the 
grass  is  full  grown  and  some  early  Kinds  are  ripe  (are  ripe)  and  now 
full  grown  and  still  the  mountains  nearly  all  around  are  yet  covered  in 

These  Ewtaws  as  well  as  we  could  imderstand  informed  us  that  the 
snakes  and  whites  ware  now  at  war  and  that  the  snakes  had  killed  two 
white  men  this  news  was  not  the  most  pleasant  as  we  have  to  pass 
through  a  portion  of  the  snake  country 

2  acording  to  promis  our  Eutaw  guide  came  this  morning  an** 
conducted  us  to  the  ford  on  thee  Eutaw  river  which  we  found  Quite 
full  and  wetting  several  packs  on  our  low  mules  but  we  all  got  safely 
over  and  out  to  the  rising  ground  whare  we  found  a  fine  spring  brook 
and  unpacked  to  dry  our  wet  baggage 

This  stream  [Jordan  River]  is  about  40  yards  wide  running  in  a 
deep  channel  of  clay  banks  and  through  a  wide  vally  in  some  places 
well  set  in  an  excelent  kind  of  grass  But  I  should  think  that  it  would 
not  be  moist  Enough  for  grain  the  mountains  that  surround  this 
vally  are  pictureesque  and  many  places  beautifull  being  high  and  near 
the  base  smoothe  and  well  set  in  a  short  nutericious  grass  Especally 
those  to  the  West 

Afternoon  took  our  course  E  into  the  Eutaw  [Wasatch]  mountains 

15^  See  Calif.  Hist.  Soc.  Quarterly,  vol.  4,  p.  140,  for  further  notes  on  this  first 
navigation  of  Great  Salt  Lake. 


and  near  night  we  found  we  had  mistaken  the  Trail  and  taken  one  that 
bore  too  much  to  the  South  camped  in  a  cove  of  the  mountain 
making  25  miles  the  ravines  and  some  of  the  side  hills  have  groves 
of  oak  and  sugar  maple  on  them  all  of  a  short  shrubby  discription  and 
many  of  the  hill  sides  are  well  clothed  in  a  good  bunch  grass  and  would 
if  not  too  cold  bear  some  cultivation 

3  N.  E.  up  the  Brook  [Emigration  Creek]  into  a  high  niged 
mountain  not  verry  rocky  but  awfull  brushy  with  some  dificulty 
we  reached  the  summit  and  commenced  our  dissent  which  was  not  so 
steep  nor  Quite  so  brushy  the  Brush  on  this  ridge  consists  of  aspen, 
oak  cherry  and  white  Firr  the  later  of  which  is  Quite  like  trees  this 
ridge  or  mountain  devides  the  waters  of  Eutaw  from  those  [of] 
Weebers  rivers  and  desended  the  South  branch  [Canyon  Creek]  of 
Weebers  rivir  untill  it  entered  a  rough  Looking  Kenyon  when  we  bore 
away  to  the  East  up  a  small  Brook  and  encamped  at  the  head  springs 
makeing  to  day  about  18  miles  on  the  top  of  the  moimtain  we 
passed  several  snow  drifts  that  had  not  yet  thawed  and  the  whole  range 
to  the  S.  W.  and  N.  is  more  or  less  covered  in  snow  and  many  peaks 
heavily  clothed  and  the  air  cold  and  disagreeable  some  few  light 
Showers  of  rain  fell  during  the  day  and  one  shower  of  snow  fell  in  the 
afternoom  service  berry  in  bloom  as  Likewis  choke  cherries  no 
game  seen  through  this  region  and  it  is  difficult  to  determin  what  the 
few  natives  that  inhabit  this  region  subsist  on 

23  miles 

4'^  North  4  miles  down  a  ravin  to  Weabers  River  we  struck 
this  stream  a  short  distance  above  the  Junction  of  the  N.  and  S. 
Branches  and  immideately  above  whare  it  enters  the  second  Kenyon 
above  its  mouth^^^  followed  up  the  vally  some  3  miles  and  crossed 
over  found  the  stream  about  50  yards  wide  muddy  from  the  thaw- 
ing of  snow  in  the  mountains  south  it  has  a  rapid  current  over  a 
hard  gravelly  bottom  and  it  has  a  considerable  Sized  intervale  through 
which  it  pases  thickly  covered  in  shrubby  cotton  wood  and  willows 
after  crossing  we  took  a  deep  cut  ravin  coming  direct  from  the  N.  E. 
the  Bluffs  of  this  ravin  are  formed  of  red  rock  made  of  smoothe  water 
washe^  p)ebbles  and  the  North  side  in  particular  are  verry  high  and 
perpendicular  and  in  many  places  hanging  over  the  narow  vally  is 
completely  Strewn  over  with  the  boulder  which  have  fallen  from  time 
to  time  from  the  cliffs  above      passed  to  day  several  clumps  of  oak 

160  In  following  this  track,  which  Hastings  himself  had  taken  by  mistake,  the 
Donner-Reed  party  met  with  their  first  serious  delay.  The  Mormon  pioneers  also 
entered  the  Salt  Lake  Valley  by  this  route. 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1846  223 

and  sugar  maple  the  cliffs  however  have  scattering  clumps  of  cedar 
on  them      To  day  saw  one  Lonesome  looking  poor  grisly  Bear 

This  [Weber  River]  like  the  Eutaw  river  heads  in  the  Eutaw  moun- 
tains and  running  North  some  distance  Turns  to  the  West  and  breaks 
through  two  ranges  of  mountains  falls  into  the  salt  Lake  30  or  40 
miles  south  of  the  mouth  of  Bear  rivir  and  has  a  shallow  barr  at  its 
mouth  stuck  over  in  drift  wood. 

26  [miles]. 

5*^  N.  E.  Up  the  Brook  on  which  we  encamped  in  a  few  miles 
it  parted  into  several  smaller  Brooks  and  we  continued  up  the  most 
central  notwithstanding  the  frosty  morning  several  summer  songsters 
ware  warbling  their  loves  or  chirping  amongst  the  small  willows  which 
skirted  the  little  Brook  as  we  passed  along  in  a  few  hours  ride  we 
arived  at  the  summit  of  the  ridge  that  devides  the  waters  of  Weabers 
River  from  those  of  Bear  River  this  ridge  is  high  and  several  drifts 
of  winters  snow  was  still  Lying  a  fiw  miles  to  the  souths  of  our  rout 
notwithsanding  this  summit  ridge  is  smoothe  and  handsomely  clothed 
in  young  grass 

Continued  down  the  East  side  of  the  ridge  and  crossed  over  a 
small  muddy  stream  running  N.  into  Bear  River  struck  Bear  River 
a  rapid  stream  40  yards  wide  and  running  over  a  smoothe  rocky 
Bed  we  found  this  stream  fordabel  and  greate  thickets  of  willows 
and  catton  wood  growing  in  the  bends  Continued  our  course  up  a 
small  Brook  a  few  miles  and  camp*^.  several  times  to  day  we  had  a 
sight  of  the  Eutaw  mountains  completely  covered  in  snow  as  the  weather 
has  been  Quite  to  cool  to  have  much  effect  upon  the  peaks  of  this  rang 
of  mountains 

30  Miles 

6  proceeded  N.  E,  through  a  Barren  range  of  wild  sage  hill  and 
plains  and  deep  wash^.  gutters  with  little  alteration  Except  now  and 
then  a  grove  of  shrubby  cedars  untill  late  in  the  afternoon  when  we 
struck  the  wagon  trail  leading  from  Bridgers  Trading  house  to  Bear 
River  Turned  on  our  course  from  N.  E.  to  S.  E.  and  took  the  road 
Toward  Bridger  near  sun  set  we  came  to  a  small  Stream  of  muddy 
water  and  Encamped 

7  Packed  up  before  sun  rise  and  Took  the  road  and  at  10  A.  M 
arived  at  the  old  deserted  Trading  house  Judge  of  our  chagrin  and 
disapointment  on  finding  this  spot  so  long  and  so  anxiously  saught  for 
standing  solitary  and  alone  without  the  appearance  of  a  human  being 
having  visited  it  for  at  least  a  month  and  what  the  cans  conjectur 
was  rife  but  could  [not]  be  certain  except  that  Bridger  and  his  whole 
company  had  taken  the  road  N.  W.  Toward  the  Lower  part  of  Bear 


River  havin  had  no  grass  whare  we  encamped  last  nig[ht]  and 
finding  plenty  here  about  we  unsadled  and  concluded  to  remain  here 
to  day  and  consult  what  was  next  to  be  done 

In  our  weak  and  deffenceless  state  it  was  not  easy  to  fix  on  any 
safe  plan  of  procedure  some  proposed  to  return  to  Bear  River  and 
risk  the  hostility  of  the  snake  Indians  others  proposed  to  take  the 
trail  Travel  slowly  and  risk  the  Sioux*,  which  ware  supposed  to  be  on 
our  rout  to  Fort  Larrimie  so  that  the  day  was  taken  up  in  discusing 
what  would  be  the  most  safe  way  of  disposing  ourselves  a  sufficiant 
time  to  await  the  company  from  Oregon  to  the  states  which  was  gen- 
erally supposed  would  be  Quite  large  this  season  the  day  was  warm 
and  the  creek  rose  rapidly  from  the  thawing  of  the  snow  on  the  Eutaw 
mountains  and  this  is  the  season  of  high  water  in  this  region  nothing 
can  be  mor  desolate  and  discouraging  than  a  deserted  fort  whare  you 
expect  relief  in  a  dangerous  Indian  country  and  every  imaginary  Idea 
was  started  as  to  what  had  been  the  caus  of  Bridgers  leaving  his  estab- 
lishment But  nothing  satisfactory  could  possibly  be  started  and  we 
ware  still  as  far  in  the  dark  as  ever 

8  After  greate  deli[b]eration  and  all  circunstances  brought  to 
bear  on  the  subject  it  was  agreed  to  part  Mr  Hastings  his  man  and 
Indian  servant  wished  to  go  some  50  or  60  miles  N.  stop  and  await 
the  arival  of  the  company  from  Oregon  4  men  of  us  one  woman  and 
one  boy  ware  detirmined  to  go  back  to  Bear  River  there  being  two 
trails  from  green  river  to  bear  rever  it  was  uncertain  which  the  Oregon 
company  might  take  if  allready  not  passed  so  wa  all  started  togather 
once  more  and  after  comeing  to  the  seperating  place  we  all  continued 
on  for  the  day  and  encamped  in  a  small  vally  whare  we  encamped  in 
Aug*  2  yare  ago 

and  here  it  is  remarkable  that  the  small  vally  a  few  years  since 
has  been  completely  covered  with  Buffalo  as  their  Bones  which  lay 
thickly  strewed  over  the  Earth  plainly  indicate  and  near  the  same 
time  it  has  likewis  been  covered  in  natives  as  their  camp  fires  show 
and  for  the  last  2  years  it  has  at  times  ben  as  completely  covered 
with  civilization 

9  Again  under  way  and  we  soon  assended  the  ridge  (for  in  this 
country  it  cannot  be  caled  a  mountain)  and  changed  our  course  from 
W.  to  N  and  desended  to  the  Bear  river  vally  this  is  one  of  the 
upper  vallies  on  this  stream  and  is  Quite  Large  being  from  30  to  40 
miles  Long  and  6  to  8  miles  wide  Bounded  Both  E.  and  W.  by  a  range 
of  Bald  mountains  shewing  in  a  peculiar  manner  their  volcanic  oragin 
by  their  standing  in  the  form  of  wavse  of  the  ocean  at  a  late  hour 
we  came  to  camp  near  the  N  or  lower  extremity  of  this  vally 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1846  225 

10  A  shosne  Indian  came  to  our  camp  this  morning  and  informed 
us  that  no  whites  had  yet  arived  or  passed  from  the  west 

But  what  was  our  disappointment  on  ariving  on  the  Oregon  trail 
to  find  that  a  large  party  of  horses  and  mules  had  passed  appearantly 
some  5  or  10  days  previous  so  our  hopes  ware  to  all  appearances 
Blasted  for  this  season       2d  &  6  June 

1 1  Packed  up  and  concluded  to  move  down  Bear  River  to  Bridgers 
camp  and  await  a  few  days  for  more  company  after  Traveling  4 
or  5  miles  down  the  wagon  trail  we  met  our  old  companions  from 
California  who  had  come  by  the  way  of  Fort  Hall  and  as  we  ware 
informed  that  all  the  company  from  Oregon  had  probably  passed  we 
turned  our  course  to  the  East  again  so  accordingly  we  all  Joined 
once  more  and  took  the  trail  S.  E.  over  high  roling  mountains  diversi- 
fied with  handsome  groves  of  aspen  Poplar  and  Firr  of  that  kind  caled 
the  white  Balsam  Firr  we  came  to  camp  late  at  Hamms  creek  a 
Beautifull  clear  running  stream  about  30  yards  wide  and  running  S.  E. 
into  Blacks  Fork  of  the  Seetskadee  or  green  River 

12  Took  the  Trail  again  over  the  same  Kind  of  high  roling  coun- 
try and  a  number  of  snow  drifs  ware  seen  lying  along  the  hills 
mostly  to  our  left  and  we  passed  as  yestarday  numerous  groves  of 
Aspin  and  saw  a  number  of  antelope  coursing  over  the  Hills  several  of 
which  ware  killed  and  found  to  Eat  well  after  living  so  long  on  dry 

Nooned  at  a  fine  cool  spring  which  breaks  out  in  a  grove  of  aspin 
[Traveled]  Eastwardly  along  a  verry  winding  crooked  trail  and  over 
some  rough  hilly  or  rather  mountainous  country  numerous  groves  of 
Aspin  Firr  and  willow  came  in  sight  of  the  green  River  vally  and 
cap'^.  at  a  small  spring  this  is  the  third  day  that  thunder  showers 
passed  in  all  directions  around  us  but  verry  little  Has  fallen  on  us 

13  East  on  the  Trail  But  we  soon  passed  our  fine  mountain 
district  and  desended  into  the  vally  of  Le  Bage^  creek  on  this  stream 
I  met  with  or  rather  suffered  a  Defeat  from  a  war  party  of  Arapahoes 
in  1824  [1825]^*^^  and  the  appearance  of  the  stream  brought  back 
some  serious  reflections  as  we  passed  down  its  Level  vally  crossed 
over  the  hills  and  soon  came  in  sight  of  green  River  whare  we  stoped 
and  found  the  stream  80  or  100  yards  wide  rapid  and  Quite  too  deep 
to  ford  The  afternoon  proved  showery  and  we  remained  here  with 
the  unpleasant  Idea  of  haveing  the  River  to  raft  if  we  can  find  a 
suitable  place 

14  Moved  up  the  River  a  few  miles  and  made  preperations  to 

i«i  See  p.  44. 


raft  the  river  and  after  making  the  best  sort  of  a  craf  we  could 
possibly  [build]  out  of  such  metireal  as  could  be  had  which  was  mis 
erably  poor  we  made  two  attempts  to  cross  over  but  failed  bothe  times 

1 5  Commenced  early  and  after  greate  labour  oweing  to  the  rapidity 
of  the  water  we  ware  carried  down  about  a  mile  but  finally  succeeded 
in  landing  a  small  portion  of  our  Baggage  on  the  oposite  shore 
and  finding  our  raft  two  large  we  ware  unable  to  take  it  back  so  we 
had  to  pack  timber  over  a  mile  and  make  smaller  rafts  my  mess 
haveing  made  a  small  one  we  commenced  crossing  and  made  land  in 
about  Half  a  mile  and  with  grate  exertion  ware  able  to  tow  it  up 
and  recross  and  so  we  continued  to  do  some  8  or  10  triips  untill  we 
all  got  safe  over  this  cold  rapid  river  of  snow  water  and  encamped  on 
the  oposite  or  East  shore 

16  Left  the  Seetskadee  early  and  mad  a  push  of  30  or  35  miles 
and  Encamped  on  Big  sandy  this  is  a  ilat  Runing  stream  over  a  sand 
bottom  and  we  found  it  Bank  full  from  the  thawing  of  the  snow  on 
the  wind  river  mountains  in  which  it  rises  but  apearantly  it  had  fallen 
a  little 

These  wind  river  mountains  are  nearly  all  covered  yet  in  their 
white  winters  robes  allthough  the  middle  of  June  most  of  the  snow 
however  goes  off  by  the  middle  of  July 

This  is  a  good  vally  for  grass  but  scarce  of  timber  their  [being] 
little  but  willows 

17  Moved  up  Eastwardly  toward  the  summit  of  the  Rocky  moun- 
tains the  day  was  cool  the  country  sage  plain  after  crossing  little 
sandy  which  is  not  more  than  4  miles  from  our  camp  The  mornings 
are  cold  and  disagreeable  so  mouch  so  that  I  think  we  have  not  had 
more  than  4  or  5  nights  without  frost  since  we  left  the  greate  plains  of 
California      and  the  grass  in  some  places  is  short 

campd  on  a  marshy  spring  plenty  of  sage  but  no  timber  in  any 
reasonable  distance  I  noticed  in  this  neighbourhood  that  there  had 
been  a  tremendeous  hail  storm  a  few  days  since  which  in  places  had 
beat  all  the  vegetation  completely  into  the  Earth 

18  A  beautifull  clear  morning  and  (and)  several  of  our  company 
commenced  prophesying  that  we  should  se  some  persons  to  day  but 
Quite  uncertain  wheter  white  or  red  in  one  hours  ride  we  came  to 
the  summit  of  the  main  rocky  mountains  which  is  nearly  a  level  plain 
with  a  slight  inclination  each  way  and  we  soon  hailed  the  small  river  of 
sweet  water  and  it  gave  Quite  a  cheering  statisfactory  Idea  allthough 
at  so  greate  a  distance  to  think  that  I  was  once  more  on  the  waters  of 
the  Missisippi  and  its  ripling  waters  sounded  in  Idea  like  sweet  home 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1846  227 

as  we  continued  down  the  ridges  on  the  N.  side  we  came  in  sight 
of  several  male  Buffaloe  feeding  on  the  young  tender  herbage  and  our 
camp  at  a  small  grove  of  lApin  was  well  supplied  in  Buffaloe  meat 

19  The  sun  set  unusually  clear  and  BeautifuU  Last  night  behind 
the  everlasting  snow  covered  peaks  of  the  wind  River  mountains  and 
I  had  a  fine  view  of  this  back  bone  of  North  America  whose  crags 
looked  more  like  a  ruined  city  than  a  mountain.  While  Far  in  the 
East  some  large  herds  of  Buffalou  ware  grazing  over  their  sage  clad  hills 
and  several  antelopes  ware  frisking  and  strangely  gazing  aroimd  our 
camp  and  animals  The  morning  was  cool  but  as  soon  as  the  sun 
arose  it  became  warm  and  sultry 

Continued  down  on  the  N  side  of  sweet  water  river  saw  plenty 
of  Buffaloe  in  the  afternoon  made  a  long  days  drive  and  encamped 
on  the  open  Prarie  a  short  time  after  dark  our  animals  took  a  fright 
and  nearly  all  those  that  ware  tied  Broke  and  away  they  went  with 
much  the  same  rapidity  and  nearly  the  same  nois  as  a  greate  number 
of  rocks  would  make  rolling  down  a  steep  mountain  you  may  Judge 
that  some  of  us  at  least  did  not  sleep  sound  imder  the  supposition  that 
a  war  party  of  Indians  had  run  them  away  from  us 

20  Early  all  the  environs  of  our  camp  was  examined  but  [no] 
sign  of  Indians  could  be  found  a  few  of  us  mounted  some  of  our 
remaining  horses  and  followed  the  trail  about  three  miles  whare  to  oiu- 
greate  Joy  we  found  all  our  animals  feeding  Quietly 

saddled  and  continued  East  down  the  stream  about  noon  some 
of  the  advance  found  a  horse  that  [had]  been  left  no  doubt  by  some  of 
the  Oregon  [train]  six  or  eight  days  ahead  of  us 

saw  a  few  Bufaloe  on  the  hills  some  miles  to  the  south  the  day 
was  warm  with  a  south  wind 

21  Down  the  stream  and  at  about  one  oclock  came  to  the  inde- 
pendence rock  here  our  party  small  as  it  was  split  and  about  half  of 
us  concluded  to  remain  over  night  the  others  went  ahead  late  in 
the  afternoon  we  had  another  stampide  last  night  but  our  animals 
did  not  go  far  and  so  soon  war  collected  again 

22  Made  an  Early  start  from  this  morning  and  here  we  leave 
sweet  water  and  take  across  the  hills  in  a  few  hours  we  came  in 
sight  of  several  herds  of  Buffalo  which  seemed  to  be  travelling  south- 
ward an  indication  observed  by  old  mountaineers  that  their  is  some 
persons  Red  or  White  in  the  direction  from  which  the  buffalo  come 
stop<^.  at  the  willow  spring  for  some  of  our  party  to  come  in  with  meat 

23  Near  sun  set  last  night  two  French  Trappers  came  to  camp 
an  informed  us  that  the  advance  party  of  emigrants  war  over  the 


North  Branch  of  the  Platte  Early  on  our  saddles  and  in  about  3 
hours  we  met  the  advance  company  of  Oregon  Emigration  consisting 
of  Eleven  wagons  nearly  oposite  the  red  Butes  when  we  came  in 
sight  of  N.  Platte  we  had  the  Pleasant  sight  of  Beholding  the  valy  to 
a  greate  distance  dotted  with  Peopl  Horses  cattle  wagons  and  Tents 
their  being  30  wagons  all  Buisily  engaged  in  crossing  the  River  which 
was  found  not  to  be  fordable  and  with  the  poor  material  they  had 
to  make  rafts  of  it  took  two  trips  to  carry  over  one  waggon  with  its 

we  however  ware  not  long  in  crossing  as  we  threw  our  baggage  on 
the  returning  rafts  and  swam  our  animals  over  and  encamped  one 
more  in  the  Buisy  humm  of  our  own  Language 

24  Down  the  N.  Platte  and  during  the  day  we  passed  three  small 
companies  some  for  Oregon  and  some  for  California 

It  is  remarkable  how  anxious  thes  people  are  to  hear  from  the 
Pacific  country  and  strange  that  so  many  of  all  kinds  and  classes  of 
People  should  sell  out  comfortable  homes  in  Missouri  and  Elsewhare 
pack  up  and  start  across  such  an  emmence  Barren  waste  to  settle  in 
some  new  Place  of  which  they  have  at  most  so  uncertain  information 
but  this  is  the  character  of  my  countrymen 

25  Continued  down  the  River  a  few  miles  and  Turned  south 
through  the  Hills  on  account  of  the  Rocky  Kenyons  that  bind  the 
stream  on  its  passage  through  the  Black  hills  mountains 

To  day  we  met  all  most  one  continual  stream  of  Emigrants  wending 
their  long  and  Tedious  march  to  Oregon  &  California  and  I  found  it 
allmost  impossible  to  pass  these  honest  looking  open  harted  people 
without  giving  them  some  slight  discription  of  what  they  might  Expect 
in  their  newly  adopted  and  anxious  sought  for  new  home  but  necessity 
only  could  compel  us  onward 

at  our  usual  hour  of  camping  we  came  to  a  small  Brook  whare 
a  company  of  them  ware  Just  coming  up  to  camp  Likewise  and  they 
came  to  us  with  Pail  fulls  of  good,  new  milk  which  to  us  was  a  treat  of 
greate  rarity  after  so  many  long  tiresome  days  travel 

26  South  across  the  hills  and  to  day  as  yestarday  we  passed  sev- 
eral small  Brooks  and  met  117  teams  in  six  different  squads  all  bound 
for  Oregon  and  California  in  the  evening  we  again  had  the  pleasur 
of  encamping  with  a  company  for  California  and  they  kept  us  in  con- 
versation untill  near  midnight 

27  we  met  numerous  squad  of  emigrants  untill  we  reached  fort 
Larrimie  whare  we  met  Ex  govornor  [Lilburn  W.]  Boggs  and  party 
from  Jackson  county  Mi[ss]ourie  Bound  for  California  and  we  camped 

DIARY,  JUNE,  1846  229 

with  them      several  of  us  continued  the  conversation  untill  a  late 

And  here  I  again  obtained  a  cup  of  excellent  coffee  at  Judge  Morins 
camp  the  first  I  had  tasted  since  in  the  early  part  of  last  winter  and 
I  fear  that  during  our  long  conversation  I  changed  the  purposes  of 
Govomor  and  the  Judge  for  next  morning  they  both  told  me  they 
inte[n]ded  to  go  to  Oregon. 

28  Late  in  the  morning  we  got  on  the  road  again  and  met  another 
party  of  emigrants  cnsisting  of  24  Wagons  and  they  told  us  that  so 
far  as  they  knew  they  ware  the  last  on  the  road  about  noon  we  passed 
Bissinett^.  Trading  house  and  a  few  miles  further  on  we  met  Bis- 
sinette^^^  himself  returning  from  Missouri  with  a  small  supply  of  goods 
for  the  trade  and  from  him  we  ware  informed  that  thier  ware  40 
Teams  yet  on  the  road  and  that  the  Pawnees  had  killed  one  man      We 

162  Edwin  .Bryant  in  his  journal,  What  I  saw  in  California,  1848,  p.  114, 
gives  an  account  of  meeting  with  Clyman's  party  at  Fort  Laramie  on  this  date. 
He  says  that  one  of  the  men  of  that  party  spoke  highly  unfavorably  of  California. 

J.  Q.  Thornton  in  his  Oregon  and  California,  Vol.  1,  pp.  110-11,  also  speaks 
of  Clyman's  company,  remarking  upon  their  "woebegone  apf>earance"  and  the 
"evil  report"  they  brought: — 

"The  Californians  affirmed  that  the  country  was  wholly  destitute  of  timber, 
and  that  wheat  could  not  be  raised  in  sufficient  quantities  for  bread;  that  they 
had  spent  all  their  substance,  and  were  now  returning  to  commence  the  world 

"Among  the  Oregonians  was  a  Mr  McKissick,  an  old  gentleman,  suffering 
from  blindness  caused  by  the  dust  of  the  way,  when  he  first  emigrated  into 
Oregon.  He  was  now  being  taken  back  to  the  States,  with  the  hope  that  some- 
thing might  be  done  to  restore  his  sight." 

The  testimony  of  Bryant  and  Thornton,  together  with  Clyman's  own  remarks, 
contradicts  a  statement,  made  by  Zoeth  Eldredge  in  his  History  of  California, 
that  Clyman  influenced  the  Donner  party  unfavorably  in  their  choice  of  a  route. 

James  Clyman  knew  James  Frazier  Reed,  one  of  the  leaders  of  the  Donner 
subdivision,  having  served  with  him  in  Jacob  Early's  company  in  the  Black  Hawk 
War.  In  Montgomery's  "Biographical  Sketch  of  Clyman,"  introductory  to  a 
transcript  of  Clyman's  diaries  in  the  Bancroft  Library,  Clyman  is  quoted  as 

"We  met  Gov.  Boggs  and  party  at  Fort  Laramie.  It  included  the  Donner 
Party.  We  camped  one  night  with  them  at  Laramie.  I  knew  Gov.  Boggs,  had 
got  acquainted  with  him  at  St.  Louis.  Had  known  Mr  Reed  previously  in  the 
Sauk  war.    He  was  from  Springfield  Illinois.  .  .  . 

"Mr  Reed,  while  we  were  encamped  at  Laramie  was  enquiring  about  the 
route.  I  told  him  to  'take  the  regular  wagon  track  [by  way  of  Fort  Hall]  and 
never  leave  it —  it  is  barely  possible  to  get  through  if  you  follow  it  —  and  it  may 
be  impossible  if  you  dont.'  Reed  replied,  'There  is  a  nigher  route,  and  it  is  of 
no  use  to  take  so  much  of  a  roundabout  course.'  I  admitted  the  fact,  but  told 
him  about  the  great  desert  and  the  roughness  of  the  Sierras,  and  that  a  straight 
route  might  turn  out  to  be  impracticable. 

"The  party  when  we  separated  took  my  trail  by  which  I  had  come  from 
California,  south  of  Salt  Lake,  and  struck  the  regular  emigrant  trail  again  on  the 

Owing  to  delays  on  this  route  the  Donner  party  failed  to  get  across  the  Sierra 
before  the  October  snows  blocked  them. 

163  Cf.  Parkman,  Oregon  Trail,  1892  ed,,  pp.  171,  311-12. 


had  previously  heard  that  they  had  stolen  a  numbr  of  horses  and  one 
company  had  lost  120  head  of  cattle  either  Strayed  or  Stolen 

29  Parted  with  some  of  my  old  acquaintances  who  ware  on  thier 
way  (to)  some  for  Oregon  and  some  for  California  the  Ex  govomor 
Boggs  and  Judge  Morin  changed  their  notion  to  go  to  Oregon  in  place 
of  California  Passed  a  small  trading  house  on  the  River  a  few  miles 
Below  the  old  Larrimee  establisment  and  one  more  company  of  emi- 
grants most  of  the  Emigrants  we  have  met  seemed  to  be  in  good 
health  and  fine  spirits  But  some  are  much  discouraged  and  a  few  have 
turned  back  about  noon  we  passed  the  sumit  of  Scotts  Bluffs  and 
took  a  drink  of  good  cool  spring  water  in  the  evening  we  met  a 
nother  party  of  waggon  and  with  a  larger  company  at  night  which  ware 
supposed  to  be  the  last  we  should  meet  on  the  way 

These  last  companies  have  had  greate  difficulties  in  passing  the 
Pawnee  coimtry  and  have  lost  a  greate  many  cattle  and  some  of  their 
horses  and  one  man  was  killed  (was  killed)  in  trying  to  recover  their 
lost  cattle  so  that  we  have  no  favourable  reports  of  our  prosspects  ahead 
and  it  will  require  all  our  ingenuity  and  vigilence  for  sometine  to  come 
for  us  to  travel  in  any  kind  of  safety 

30  Passed  the  chimney  rock  and  at  noon  overtook  a  party  of  12 
or  15  men  some  from  Oregon  and  a  few  that  had  turned  back  to  Mis- 
souri at  Larimie  in  the  evening  we  encamped  on  the  River  within 
about  one  mile  of  those  a  head  of  us 

July  the  1^  1846  A  heavy  dew  last  night  and  a  clear  cool  morn- 
ing in  the  afternoon  met  Mr  J.  M.  Wair  [Weir]  with  a  small  party  of 
six  wagons  Mr  Wair  risidid  in  Oregon  some  yares  and  had  went  to 
the  states  last  summer  and  was  now  on  his  return  to  Oregon  again 

This  evening  shews  fair  for  rain 

2  Rapid  Thunder  &  Lightning  last  night  with  a  light  shower  of 
rain  this  morning  is  extremely  warm  we  traveled  S  of  East  down 
the  River  untill  about  noon  when  we  arived  at  the  ash  Hallow  whare 
we  found  a  company  of  Mormon  Emigrants  Encamped  consisting  of 
nineteen  wagons^^*      these  people  are  on  their  way  to  Oregon  and  in- 

1^4  This  appears  to  be  the  only  record  of  Mormons  so  far  west  in  1846.  There 
is  no  evidence  that  this  party  went  on  to  Oregon.  At  this  date  the  Mormon  lead- 
ers had  not  decided  whether  to  cross  the  plains  that  year  or  winter  on  the 
Missouri,  The  various  companies  were  scattered,  and  one  large  train  starting  from 
Council  Bluffs  in  the  latter  part  of  July,  1846,  is  said  to  have  had  written  orders 
from  Brigham  Young  to  proceed  to  California,  A  few  days  later  this  party  was 
instructed  to  go  into  winter  quarters  along  the  Platte  and  at  Grand  Island.  They 
went  on,  however,  to  the  Ponca  village  on  Running-Water  River  (Wood  River?). 
Their  leader,  George  Miller,  in  his  journal,  complains  of  the  delays  due  to  the 
countermanding  of  orders  and  indicates  his  distrust  of  the  self-appointed  president 
at  CouncU  Bluffs.  See,  H.  W.  Mills,  De  Tal  Palo  Tal  Astilla,  in  Ann.  Publ.  Hist. 
Soc.  Southern  Calif.,  1917,  pp.  lOS-6. 

DIARY,  JULY,  1846  231 

formed  us  that  the  Pawnees  had  followed  them  and  stole  three  horses 
last  night  They  keeping  a  strick  guard  and  the  animals  haveing  been 
Tied  to  their  wagons 

This  encampment  has  the  advantage  of  plenty  of  fuell  and  clear 
spring  water  and  most  travelers  stop  here  one  day  at  least  there  being 
no  timbber  East  nor  West  for  some  distance 

3.  South  across  the  ridge  deviding  the  N.  and  S  Branches  of  the 
greate  Platte  River  about  20  miles  the  day  was  verry  warm  and  the 
road  dusty  you  think  we  ware  verry  thirsty  and  so  we  ware  But  had 
to  Quench  our  Burning  [thirst]  with  warm  water  fully  half  mud  for 
this  is  the  character  of  all  the  Platte  waters  of  any  size  half  mud 
and  sand  running  over  a  wide  shallow  bed  exposed  to  the  Burning  rays 
of  a  verticle  sun  But  this  is  the  best  that  can  be  had  in  crossing 
over  this  south  branch  one  man  and  one  woman  got  plunged  from  their 
Horses  and  well  drenched  in  the  turbid  stream 

4  The  sun  arose  in  his  usual  majestic  splendor  no  firing  of 
canon  was  heard  no  flags  waving  to  the  early  morning  Breeze.  Noth- 
ing no  nothing  heard  but  the  occasional  howl  of  the  wolf  or  the  hoarse 
croak  of  the  raven  nothing  seen  But  the  green  wide  spread  Prarie 
and  the  shallow  wide  spread  river  roling  its  turbed  muddy  waters  far 
to  the  East  the  only  relief  is  the  on  rising  ground  occasionally  doted 
with  a  few  stragling  male  Buffaloe  and  one  Lonely  Junt  of  a  cotton 
wood  Tree  some  miles  down  the  stream  the  only  occupant  of  a  small 
low  Island  (not  much  veriety)  O  my  coimtry  and  my  Country 
men  the  rich  smiling  surface  of  on[e]  and  the  gladsome  Shouts  of 
the  other  Here  we  are  8  men  2  women  and  one  boy  this  day  entering 
into  an  enimies  coimtry  who  if  posible  will  Butcher  every  individual 
or  at  least  strip  us  of  every  means  of  comfort  or  convenience  and  leave 
us  to  make  our  tiresome  (som)  way  to  relief  and  this  immediatly  on 
your  frontier  and  under  the  eye  of  a  strong  Militay  post  The  day 
proved  verry  still  and  warm  and  we  overtook  a  small  prarty  of  Emi- 
grants that  ware  ahead  consisting  of  seven  men  2  young  Ladies  and 
one  verry  sick  man  some  of  thier  company  haveing  left  them  an 
hour  before  our  arival  on  account  of  their  slow  traveling  The  eight 
men  that  had  parted  from  these  in  their  defenceless  state  intended  to 
make  a  rapid  Push  and  travel  day  and  night  untill  they  passed  the 
Pawnee  Teritory 

5  The  morning  verry  warm  with  a  dew  like  rain  The  sick  man 
seems  to  grow  worse  and  has  a  high  fever  saw  greate  herds  of  Buffalo 
on  Both  sides  of  the  river  We  neeirly  reached  the  Forks  of  Platte 
and  late  in  the  evening  we  had  a  short  rapid  showers  of  rain  and  in 
the  night  our  animals  took  a  Fright  at  an  old  Buffaloe  that  approached 


our  camp  and  we  had  some  difficulty  in  Keeping  our  Horses  from 
breaking  from  the  stake 

6  Clear  and  verry  warm  Passed  the  Juction  of  the  N  &  South 
Branches  of  the  Platte  and  came  to  the  Bluffs  which  are  steep  and 
rough  with  numerous  small  groves  of  rid  cedar  Nooned  at  ash  run 
the  first  shade  we  have  found  for  10  or  12  days  Continued  down 
the  River  the  hills  and  vallies  on  this  stream  are  generally  well 
covered  in  several  kinds  of  grass  and  some  portions  of  the  vally  would 
no  doubt  bear  good  grain  of  several  kinds 

7  This  morning  we  had  a  remarkable  heavy  dew.  the  day  was 
warm  an  Sultry  and  our  animals  sweated  profusely  as  well  as  our- 
selves saw  several  Large  Herds  of  Buffalo  on  the  oposite  side  of  the 
River  Probaby  the  last  that  will  be  seen  on  our  direction 

8  A  warm  night  and  thee  muskeetoes  war  troublesome  all  night 
this  fore  noon  we  passed  Plumb  Creek  and  nooned  a  short  distance 
above  the  head  of  Grand  Isleand  we  have  had  a  beautifull  road  for 
some  days  being  a  livel  dry  Prarie  Bottom  from  2  to  4  miles  wide  the 
Islands  and  some  of  the  main  of  the  river  is  generally  skirted  with 
willow  and  small  shrubby  cottonwood 

9  another  warm  night  with  a  south  wind  we  are  now  near  the 
Pawne  village  and  anxiety  to  pass  without  interuption  at  its  highest 
pitch  some  light  showers  of  rain  fell  during  the  day  and  several 
horses  are  failing  and  will  soon  have  to  be  left 

Left  the  Platte  in  the  afternoon  and  crossed  over  the  ridge  and 
camp*^.  on  the  waters  of  Kaw  river 

10  a  cloudy  night  without  rain       a  Mr  M<=Kizack  was  left  Be- 
hind last  night  being  himself  nearly  Blind  and  his  horses  verry  poor 
his  messmate  Mr.  Stump  went  back  this  morning  to  assist  him  to 
come  up 

saw  a  horse  yestarday  that  had  been  shot  lying  by  the  way  side 
Mr  stump  returned  about  noon  and  could  find  nothing  of  Mr 
M«=Kissick  we  moved  on  in  the  afternoon  to  the  west  fork  of  Blue 
river  and  encamped  early  for  the  purpose  of  making  a  more  thorough 
search  for  the  lost  man  But  in  a  few  minuits  after  stoping  the  old 
man  hove  in  sight  to  the  mutual  satisfaction  of  all  parties.  several 
thunder  showers  passed  around  during  the  afternoon  and  a  short  rapid 
one  but  of  short  duration  did  not  miss  us  about  sun  set  The  west 
Fork  is  small  here  but  nearly  clear  and  cool  compared  with  the  waters 
of  the  Platte  the  vallies  are  moderately  large  and  the  soil  rich  but 
no  timber  Except  cottonwood  and  willow  with  here  and  there  a  chance 
Plumb  bush  now  full  of  green  fruit 

11  Down  the  stream      some  ash  and  oak  occurred  this  fore  noon 

DIARY,  JULY,  1846  233 

with  some  Elm  Likewise      The  day  was  cool  and  Pleasant  and  the 
vally  fine  and  green  the  soil  in  many  places  rich 

12  A  Tremendious  heavy  dew  fell  last  night  and  the  day  proved 
warm  and  Sultry  heard  several  familiar  noisis  such  as  the  whistleing 
of  Quails  and  the  croakings  of  the  Bull  frog  those  sounds  are  not 
heard  in  the  far  west  in  the  afternoon  we  left  the  West  Branch  of 
Blue  River  and  crossed  the  Prarie  ridges  to  the  N.  E.  and  encamped 
on  a  broad  sandy  Brook  now  nearly  diy 

13  Continued  across  the  ridges  and  nooned  late  at  Fosale  Brook 
which  detained  us  2  days  in  Passing  out  [in  1844]  now  nearly  dry 
some  Black  walnut  and  Honey  Locust  occur  here  for  the  first  seen 

S.  E.  over  high  rich  roling  Prarie  but  without  much  useful  timber  and 
poorly  supplied  with  spring  water 

14  over  the  same  kind  of  country  as  yestarday  in  the  forenoon 
passed  rock  creek  scarcely  affording  sufficient  wate[r]  to  rim  from 
Pool  to  Pool       a  rapid  shower  of  rain  fell  in  evening 

15  Continued  in  the  afternoon  we  crossed  greate  Blue  river  and 
camp*^.  on  the  East  Bank 

This  stream  affords  some  fine  rich  vallies  of  cultivateable  land  and 
the  Bluffs  are  made  of  a  fine  lime  rock  with  some  good  timber  and 
numerous  springs  of  clear  cool  water  here  I  observed  the  grave  of 
Mrs  Sarak  Keys  agead  70  yares  who  had  departed  this  life  in  may 
[29th]  last^^^  at  her  feet  stands  the  stone  that  gives  us  this  informa- 
tion This  stone  shews  us  that  all  ages  and  all  sects  are  found  to 
undertake  this  long  tedious  and  even  dangerous  Joumy  for  some  un- 
known object  never  to  be  realized  even  by  those  the  most  fortunate 
and  why  because  the  human  mind  can  never  be  satisfied  never  at  rest 
allways  on  the  strech  for  something  new  some  strange  novelty 

on  our  Return  from  California  a  Mr  [Caleb]  Greenwood  and  his 
two  sons^^^  made  a  part  of  our  company  this  man  the  Elder  is  now 
from  his  best  recolection  80  years  of  age  and  has  made  the  trip  4  times 
in  2  yares  in  part 

16  Left  Blue  River  and  soon  passed  the  Burr  oak  creek  a  narrow 
Rippling  stream  at  this  time  with  wide  Extensive  Bottoms  which  in 
times  of  greate  freshets  are  completely  overflown  the  land  rich  and 
surface  roling  sub  strata  white  lime  Stone  of  a  fine  shining  appear- 

17  East  of  South  over  a  roling  gravelly  Prarie  in  many  Places 

165  She  was  the  mother  of  Mrs.  James  Frazier  Reed  of  the  Donner  Party. 
The  grave  is  near  Manhattan,  Kansas. 

166  Probably  John  and  Sam;  Britain  was  in  California  in  1846-47,  and  the 
other  two  boys,  Governor  Boggs  and  Davy  Crockett,  were  quite  young  at  this 


uneven      nooned  at  cannon  Ball  Creek  which  now  has  but  little  run- 
ning water  on  the  ripples 

The  afternoon  passed  over  Beautifull  rich  Prarie  but  no  valuable 

18  In  the  fore  noon  crossed  the  Black  vermillion  to  day  the 
Trail  runs  nearly  East  nooned  at  a  small  Brook  which  has  a  fine 
small  vally  of  good  Burr  oak  Timber  and  fine  Prarie  in  the  Neighbour- 
hood the  water  Poor  in  the  afternoon  we  passed  over  roling  hilly 
Prarie  Country 

19  Started  from  the  stake  and  came  to  Knife  creek  for  Break- 
fast found  the  muketoes  verry  troublesome  and  a  goodly  number 
Horse  flies  met  a  small  party  of  men  going  to  Fort  Larrimie  who 
gave  us  a  more  full  account  of  the  stat  of  afairs  Between  the  U.  S. 
and  Mexico  and  further  told  us  that  Two  Thousand  mounted  Troops 
had  lately  left  Misouri  for  St  Afee  and  that  one  Thousand  more  [the 
Mormon  Battalion]  are  now  Leaveing  Early  in  the  aftemoom  arived 
at  Kaw  River  and  got  our  Baggage  taken  over  in  a  canoe  and  Swam 
our  animals  across 

20  Took  the  Trail  down  Kaw  River  passing  immediately  through 
a  small  settlement  of  Saukie  Indians  Their  small  farms  had  a  Thrifty 
appearance  and  the  com  and  vegitables  looked  well  and  more  like 
civilization  than  any  thing  I  had  seen  lately  The  flies  nearly  Eat 
our  horses  up      camp^.  on  the  Waukarusha 

21  Early  on  our  saddles  with  the  intention  to  cheat  the  flies  But 
they  ware  up  and  out  as  soon  as  us  in  about  six  miles  however  we 
came  to  a  thick  settlement  of  Shawnees  and  the  flies  which  had  anoyed 
us  so  much  now  became  Quite  Scarce  and  had  it  not  been  for  the  heat 
of  the  weather  and  the  bad  Quality  of  the  water  traveling  would  have 
been  comfortable  we  encamped  in  the  best  cultivated  part  of  the 
Shawnee  country  this  tribe  are  far  advanced  in  civilization  and  make 
thier  intire  subsistance  by  agraculture  and  some  are  begining  to 
learn  the  more  rougher  kinds  of  Mechanism  such  as  hewing  of  timber 
making  of  Shingles  and  building  of  common  wooden  houses  Their 
farms  are  mostly  on  the  Prarie  lands  and  their  crops  of  grain  look 
tolerable  well  the  com  in  Particular 

22  It  Thundred  and  Lightned  all  night  but  did  not  rain  in  the 
forenoon  we  passed  through  west  Porte  a  small  ordinary  village  one  half 
mile  within  the  state  of  Missourie  and  some  time  before  night 
reached  Indipendence  the  Seat  of  Justice  for  Jackson  county 

23  It  rained  the  most  part  of  the  night  last  night  but  the  morn- 
ing was  fair  and  we  found  ourselves  surrounded  by  civilization  and  had 
to  answer  numerous  [questions]  about  the  country  we  had  visited  and 

DIARY,  JULY,  1846  235 

many  more  conserning  acquaintances  that  ware  in  Oregon  and  Cali- 
fornia disposed  of  my  mules  and  mad  my  appearance  at  Mr  Nolands 
Tavern  and  a  Rough  appearance  it  was  But  such  things  are  not 
atall  strange  in  Independance  as  it  [is]  the  first  place  all  the  Parties 
r[e]ach  from  the  Mountains  from  St  A  Fee  California  and  Oregon 

the  [weather]  was  verry  warm  and  suffocating  and  in  this  par- 
ticular you  find  a  greate  difference  in  the  heat  of  simimer  in  Cali- 
fornia you  find  it  cool  and  pleasant  in  the  shade  while  here  you  find 
[it]  hot  and  suffocating  in  [the]  coolest  place  you  can  find 

24  A  Remarkable  warm  day  But  I  must  say  I  injoyed  the  time 
well  in  reading  the  papers  that  came  by  last  nights  mail  and  in  the 
varied  conversation  I  had  with  several  gentlemen  during  the  day 

[Three  blank  pages  follow;  then:] 

On  the  first  day  of  May  we  succeeded  in  crossing  the  main  summit  of  tae 
California  mountains  or  the  Siera  Nevada  the  snow  being  from  3  to  8  feet  deep 
on  the  western  slope  but  on  turning  down  the  Eastern  side  it  was  perhaps  from 
8  to  20  or  even  30  feet  deep  owing  to  the  wind  being  allways  from  the  South  West 
when  the  snow  is  falling  and  carrying  larg  Quanti[t]ies  from  the  western  side  which 
is  deposited  on  the  East  side  near  the  summit  this  mountain  is  generally  thickly 
covered  with  a  large  groth  of  pine  firr  and  other  ever  green  Timber  The  rock 
near  the  summit  is  a  light  grey  granite  lying  in  large  compact  masses  with  a  steep 
irregular  rounded  surface  and  none  of  the  usual  indications  of  recent  Earth 
Quakes  concrections  or  volcanic  contortions  But  on  desending  some  16  or  18 
miles  thro  a  rough  uneven  vally  you  again  arive  at  the  Baysalt  region  and  the 
stream  has  broke  its  way  through  several  hunded  feet  in  depth  of  Black  frown- 
ing rock  that  one  would  think  had  onec  ben  liquidated  by  intense  heat  the 
large  timber  disappears  and  the  hills  are  covered  with  Artimisia  or  as  it  is  best 
known  by  the  name  of  wild  sage 

VLoit  Page] 

[Record  of  number  of  emigrant  wagons  met  on  the  plains  in  1846] 

[June]  23 

W  [wagons  met] 







66  = 

=  17 













one  Party  of  Packers 



[July]     1 


"      "   Packers 

This  is  the  end  of  the  diaries,  written  during  journeys  of  over  two 
years  through  the  far  West  and  often,  as  Clyman  said,  with  the  little 
notebook  resting  upon  his  knee  beside  the  camp-fire  at  night. 

Overland  to  California  in  1848 

TRAVELERS  returning  to  St.  Louis  from  California  in  1846  were 
doubtless  eagerly  questioned,  not  only  for  news  of  the  far  West 
but  also  for  word  from  their  friends  among  the  caravans  on  the 
plains.  An  agent  of  the  Missouri  Republican  met  Clyman  and  obtained 
from  him  a  brief  statement  and  excerpts  from  his  diaries,  which  were 
published  in  that  newspaper  on  July  30,  1846:^^'^ 


A  gentleman  who  has  passed  the  two  last  years  in  Oregon  and  California 
reached  this  city  yesterday.  His  name  is  James  Clymer,  and  [he]  migrated  from 
Milwaukie,  with  a  view  of  determining  for  himself  the  character  of  that  country. 
He  left  California,  in  company  with  six  other  persons,  the  latter  end  of  AprU,  and 
has  been  ninety  days  on  the  route.  Mr.  Clymer  has  kindly  permitted  us  to  glance 
at  his  diary  —  we  could  do  no  more  — ■  kept  for  the  whole  time  of  his  absence,  and 
to  select  such  facts  as  may  interest  our  readers.  We  have,  of  necessity,  to  take 
such  incidents  as  occurred  during  his  return  home,  passing  over  many  descriptions 
of  country,  soil,  places,  mountains,  people  and  government,  in  Oregon  and  Cali- 

On  the  16th  of  March  last,  Mr.  Clymer  refers,  in  his  journal,  to  the  extraor- 
dinary avidity  with  which  news  is  manufactured  in  that  country ;  and  says,  that 
Lieut.  Fremont  had  raised  the  American  flag  in  Monterrey  —  of  course  the  town  of 
that  name  on  the  Pacific  —  that  all  good  citizens  were  called  upon  to  appear  forth- 
with, at  Sonoma,  armed  and  equipped  for  service  under  Gen.  Byajo,  to  defend  the 
rights  of  Mexican  citizens.  This  report  subsequently  appeared,  was  founded  on  the 
fact,  that  Lieut.  Fremont  had  raised  the  American  [flag]  at  his  camp,  near  the 
Mission  of  St.  John's  and  that  he  declined  to  call  on  some  of  the  legal  authorities, 
when  ordered  to  do  so.  It  was  said,  that  in  consequence  of  this  state  of  things, 
General  Castro  had  raised  four  hundred  men  at  Monterrey ;  that  he  marched  to 
Lieut  Fremont's  camp  on  the  22nd  of  March,  from  which  he  had  retreated;  and 
that  he  there  found  numerous  pack-saddles,  baggage,  and  a  considerable  quantity 
of  specie.  Lieut.  Fremont  was  last  heard  of,  after  Mr.  Clymer  had  left,  on  the 
Rio  Sacramento ;  but  as  he  kept  his  own  counsel,  no  one  knew  his  object  in  going 
there,  or  when  he  would  return  to  the  United  States.  He  had  lost  one  man,  who 
was  killed  by  the  Indians,  and  had  discharged  others. 

Mr.  Clymer  met,  at  different  times  and  under  different  circumstances,  parties 
of  Emigrants  to  Oregon  or  California,  who  were  roving  about  discontented,  and 
going  back  and  forth,  as  whim  dictated.  OuNthe  22nd  of  March,  he  notices  having 
met,  in  California,  a  party  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  persons,  thirty  or  forty  of 
whom  were  then  going  to  the  Columbia  river,  having  become  tired  of  the  other 
paradise.  On  the  20th  of  April,  Mr.  Sumner  and  his  family  arrived  at  camp,  pre- 
pared for  their  journey  to  the  States.  Mr.  Sumner  had  been  in  Oregon;  from 
thence  he  went  to  California;  and,  being  still  dissatisfied,  he  was  now  returning, 
after  having  spent  five  years  in  traveling  and  likewise  a  small  fortune. 

He  met  [!],  and  left  Mr.  L.  P.  [L.  W.]  Hastings,  the  author  of  a  work  on 
California,  at  his  camp  on  Bear  Creek,  a  small  creek  running  into  Feather  River. 
He  was  located  near  the  road  travelled  by  the  emigrants  to  California.  Mr.  Hast- 
ings had  been  looking  for  some  force  from  the  States,  with  which  it  was  designed 
to  revolutionize  California,  but  in  this  he  had  been  disappointed.  He  was  then,  it 
seemed,  awaiting  the  action  of  the  American  Government,  in  taking  possession  of 
that  country  —  of  which  he  appeared  to  have  some  intimation.  Mr.  Clymer  heard, 
on  his  return  homeward,  of  the  arrival  of  the  several  United  States  vessels  of  war 
at  Monterrey,  but  knows  nothing  more  about  them.  .  .  . 

167  Courtesy  of  Miss  Stella  M.  Drumm,  of  the  Missouri  Historical  Society. 
This  article  was  copied  in  the  Liberty  Weekly  Tribune,  August  8,  1846,  and  in  the 
Oregon  Spectator,  April  29,  1847. 

TO  CALIFORNIA  IN  '48  277 

During  the  next  eighteen  months  Clyman  visited  his  friends  in 
Wisconsin  and  spent  the  winter  with  his  old  Rocky  Mountain  comrade, 
John  Bowen  of  Wauwautosa.  It  was  said  long  afterward  that  he  tried 
to  interest  some  of  his  acquaintances  in  the  purchase  of  land  in  Cali- 
fornia —  that  he  knew  of  a  ranch  of  80,000  acres  there  which  could  be 
obtained  for  4,000  dollars.  This  tract  was  said  to  have  been  near  the 
present  site  of  Vallejo  and  to  have  been  "sold"  when  Clyman  returned 
for  it. 

It  seems  that  there  may  have  been  some  truth  in  these  statements, 
no  other  reasons  being  known  why  Clyman  should  have  made  plans, 
after  his  arrival  in  California  in  1848,  to  return  East  again  the  next 

Whatever  these  plans  were,  it  is  known  that  he  was  engaged  as  guide 
to  a  company  of  emigrants,  one  of  the  few  trains  that  crossed  the 
plains  to  California  in  1848.  Mexican  war  troubles,  treaty  delays  and 
the  fate  of  the  Donner  party  kept  all  but  the  most  hardy  California 
bound  emigrants  off  the  plains  during  the  two  years  before  the  gold 
rush,  and  but  little  is  recorded  of  the  immigration  of  1848. 

It  seems  that  a  large  part  of  Clyman 's  company  belonged  to  one 
family,  the  Mecombs',^^^  who  hailed  from  Indiana.  They  were  restless 
frontier  settlers,  having  been  pioneers  of  Ohio  and  Michigan  in  previous 
years.  The  elders  were  Lambert  and  Hannah  Mecombs,  and  the  chil- 
dren, mostly  grown  and  nearly  all  married,  were  Benjamin  F.,  William, 
Jacob  R.,  Joseph  D.,  Isaac,  Aramintha,  Martha,  Hannah  and  Rebecca. 
On  the  plains  another  member  joined  the  train,  a  baby  that  lived  only 
a  few  days. 

Little  is  known  of  Lambert,  the  head  of  the  house,  except  that  he 
was  sixty-four  years  old  when  he  arrived  in  California  in  '48  and  that 
he  died  on  December  6  of  the  next  year.  Hannah,  his  wife,  was  the 
leading  spirit  of  the  family.  She  was  a  Mendenhall,  born  December  22, 
1787,  in  Pennsylvania,  on  the  battle  field  of  Brandywine.  Her  ancestors 
were  sturdy  Dutch-Quaker  stock,  and  she  herself  lived  nearly  one  hun- 
dred years.  Her  eldest  son,  Ben,  became  in  his  latter  years  a  hermit, 
living  until  recently  in  the  northern  part  of  the  State  of  Washington. 
"Jake"  and  "Joe"  were  twins.  Isaac,  bom  in  Ohio,  September  13, 
1820,  raised  a  family  in  California,  where  he  died  May  4,  1904. 

The  eldest  daughter  "Minty"  married  a  Backus.  Her  children 
were  Hannah,  Blake  and  Joseph.  Martha  became  Mrs.  Hardman,  and 
one  of  her  sons  married  James  Clyman 's  foster-daughter,  Alice  Broad- 

i<58  The  spelling,  whether  Mecombs  or  McCombs,  is  a  matter  of  dispute  in  the 
family,  some  claiming  the  Scotch,  others  the  Irish  form.  Lambert  Mecombs'  grave- 
stone at  Napa  has  the  name  spelled  as  I  have  given  it,  but  as  his  grave  was 
changed  three  different  times  even  this  may  not  indicate  his  way  of  spelling  it. 


hurst,  his  own  first  cousin.  ''Becky,"  the  youngest,  married  Stephen 
Broadhurst,  who  probably  came  overland  in  the  Mecombs'  train.  Han- 
nah became  James  Clyman's  wife.  She  was  an  tmusually  forceful  and 
determined  little  woman,  physically  spry  and  mentally  bright  until 
almost  the  day  of  her  death  in  1908,  at  the  age  of  86,  She  carried  out 
her  own  very  decided  ideas  in  the  management  of  her  affairs,  among 
other  things  never  permitting  the  hired  men  to  milk  her  cows,  always 
doing  it  herself  and  saying  that  "a  man  would  spoil  a  good  cow." 

There  seems  to  be  no  definite  record  of  other  members  of  this 
company,  but  possibly  William  Bedwell  and  Martin  Hudson,  both  of 
Sonoma,  came  with  it.^^^ 

Incidents  of  the  journey  are  almost  unknown.  Clyman  said  the 
trip  was  "without  incident"  but  it  probably  would  not  have  been  so  to 
a  tenderfoot.  The  party  left  the  Missouri  about  the  first  of  May  and 
arrived  in  California  on  September  5.  Curiously  enough,  they  heard 
of  the  gold  discovery  while  en  route,  from  members  of  the  returning 
Mormon  Battalion.  The  effect  of  this  news  upon  the  overlanders  must 
have  been  electrical  to  judge  from  the  diaries  of  Israel  Evans  and  Henry 
W.  Bigler.170 

Evans  tells  an  amusing  story  which  might  have  been  associated  with 
the  Mecombs'-Qyman  train. 

In  August,  1848,  somewhere  east  of  the  lower  crossing  of  the 
Truckee  River,  Evans'  party  of  Mormons  met  a  train  of  California 
bound  immigrants.  Telling  the  people  of  the  new  Eldorado,  one  of  the 
Mormons  "poured  into  his  hand  perhaps  an  ounce  of  gold  and  began 
stirring  it  with  his  finger.  One  aged  man  of  probably  over  three  score 
years  and  ten  [Lambert  Mecombs?],  who  had  listened  with  intense 
interest  while  his  expressive  eyes  fairly  glistened,  could  remain  silent 
no  longer;  he  sprang  to  his  feet,  threw  his  old  wool  hat  upon  the 
ground,  and  jumped  upon  it  with  both  feet,  then  kicked  it  high  in  the 

169  On  the  next  to  the  last  page  of  Book  9,  James  Clyman's  overland  diary  of 
1846,  is  a  list  of  names  in  Clyman's  handwriting.  From  the  inclusion  of  Hudson 
and  Bedwell  it  might  be  thought  that  this  was  a  list  of  Clyman's  company  of 
1848,  but  the  few  other  names  that  are  known  do  not  bear  out  this  supposition. 
Thus,  W.  G.  ChOes  and  Samuel  Dewel  were  not  bom  until  later,  Chiles  being  a 
covered  wagon  baby  of  18S4.  Thomas  Hudson  and  William  Hargrave  were  1844 
emigrants,  and  Thomas  Wesley  Bradley  came  with  Joseph  B.  Chiles  in  1843.  There 
were  at  least  two  J.  Grigsbys,  Jesse  and  Captain  John. 

I  give  the  list  for  someone  else  to  puzzle  over: 

Richard  Smith,  William  H.  Gilbert,  Wm.  Hains,  James  B.  Sears,  Daniel  Prig- 
more,  John  Cowie,  Adolphus  E.  Haff,  Turner  Crump,  Benjamin  H.  Smith, 
SEamuel?]  Dewel,  Thos.  Hudson,  Alex  Dunbar,  Martin  Hudson,  John  W.  Smith, 
William  Long,  William  Bedwell,  Tibbs  &  Saunders,  William  Hargrave,  Eliza 
Wright,  Jas.  Croslin,  Powel  H.  Haeff,  Eli  Roberts,  Wm.  Kelsey,  J.  Grigsby,  Jos. 
Prigmore,  Isaac  Wood,  Thoa.  McMahan,  H.  S.  Foshe,  Thos.  Bradly,  Thos.  J. 
Young,  W.  G.  ChUes,  C.  W.  Boyer. 

170  Evans'  diary  is  quoted  in  Daniel  Tyler,  History  of  the  Mormon  Battalion, 
1881,  p.  340.    Bigler's  MS  Diary  of  a  Mormon  is  in  the  Bancroft  Library. 

TO  CALIFORNIA  IN  '48  239 

air,  and  exclaimed,  'Glory  hallaluja,  thank  God,  I  shall  die  a  rich  man 

Bigler's  party  of  returning  Mormons  met  18  emigrant  wagons  at  the 
sink  of  the  Humboldt  on  August  18.  The  fact  that  this  train  had 
come  by  way  of  Fort  Hall  leads  one  to  think  that  it  may  have  been 
Clyman's  train.  One  of  this  party,  Hazen  Kimball,  had  spent  the 
winter  at  Salt  Lake.  The  next  day  Bigler  mentions  a  train  of  25 
wagons  bound  for  California.  This  was  perhaps  Pierre  B.  Cornwall's 
train.^"^*  On  the  26th  he  notes  ten  wagons,  which  may  have  been  a 
party  with  James  T.  Walker,  who  had  set  out  in  1847.  On  the  27th 
Samuel  Hensley's  company  "of  ten  on  packs  came  up"  and  Hensley  told 
them  of  a  short  cut  to  Salt  Lake  that  he  had  just  taken  and  gave  them  a 
"way  bill"  of  this  new  route  which  evidently  deviated  from  Hastings' 
cut-off.  On  the  30th  Bigler  encountered  Captain  Joseph  B.  Chiles  and 
his  company  of  48  wagons.  "He  gave  us  a  way  bill  purporting  to  give 
a  still  nearer  route  than  that  of  Hensleys."  Except  for  the  brief  notes 
of  J.  P.  C.  Allsopp,^'^^  who  came  with  a  small  party  of  young  men  and 
did  not  reach  San  Francisco  imtil  December  IS,  1848,  this  completes 
the  scanty  records  of  the  1848  immigrants  by  the  Salt  Lake  route. 

The  strange  sights  that  greeted  Clyman  upon  his  arrival  are  re- 
corded in  a  letter  to  H.  J.  Ross  of  Wisconsin  :^'^^ 

Napa  Valley,  Alt  a  California, 
Dec.  25th,  1848. 
Friend  Ross: — The  uncertainty  of  letters  reaching  you  makes  it 
necessary  that  I  state  to  you  again  that  we  left  the  west  of  Missouri  on 
the  I  St  of  May  and  arrived  here  on  the  5th  of  September  without 
accident  or  interruption  of  any  kind  worthy  of  notice.  Matters  and 
things  here  are  strangely  and  curiously  altered  since  I  left  this  country. 
No  business  of  any  kind  is  carried  on  except  what  is  in  some  way 
connected  with  the  gold  mines.  You  have  no  doubt  seen  and  heard 
several  descriptions  of  those  mines  and  supposed  them  all  fabulous,  but 
I  am  persuaded  that  nothing  has  yet  reached  you  that  would  give  you 
any  adequate  idea  of  the  extent  and  immense  richness  of  the  mining 
region.  Gold  is  now  found  in  length  from  North  to  South,  over  a  dis- 
tance of  between  400  and  500  miles,  and  in  width  from  40  to  60  miles, 
and  nearly  every  ravine  will  turn  out  its  thousands.  There  are  at  this 
time  not  less  than  2000  white  men  and  more  than  double  that  number 
of  Indians  washing  gold  at  the  rate  of  some  two  ounces  per  day,  making 

171  Bruce  Cornwall,  Life  Sketch  of  Pierre  Barlow  Cornwall,  San  Francisco; 

i''^2  Allsopp,  Leaves  from  My  Log  Book,  MS,  Bancroft  Library. 

i^a  From  the  Milwaukee  Sentinel  &  Gazette,  July  4,  1849,  courtesy  of  the  Wis- 
consin Historical  Society. 


over  $300,000  per  day,^"^^  and  this  great  quantity  and  the  ease  with 
which  it  is  produced  has  caused  a  tremendous  rise  in  provisions  and  all 
kinds  of  manufactured  goods.  Flour  in  the  mines  sells  at  $1  per  lb  — 
dried  beef  and  bacon  $2  per  lb.,  &c.  I  forbear  to  mention  anything 
more,  for  all  articles  bear  the  same  proportions,  as  gold  is  the  most 
plenty  and  of  course  the  least  valuable. 

All  the  inhabitants  of  this  immediate  country  left  their  farms  to 
hunt  and  wash  gold.  All  of  the  summer  crop  and  considerable  of  the 
wheat  was  destroyed  by  the  stock.  Oregon  has  sent  us  some  flour,  and 
more  than  half  of  her  male  population,  all  of  the  foreigners  and  a  por- 
tion of  the  Natives  have  arrived  from  the  Sandwich  Islands,  and  we 
may  expect  a  large  emigration  from  the  States  next  season.  Tell  all  of 
the  lovers  of  gold  and  sunshine  that  this  is  the  place  to  suit  them.  But 
very  little  else  is  to  be  seen  or  had  here.  We  had  a  shower  of  rain  last 
week  for  the  first  time  since  May,  and  the  grass  is  beginning  is  [to\ 
shoot  a  little.  I  shall  return  to  the  States  again  in  about  one  year  from 
this  time.    Give  my  respects  to  all  enquiring  friends. 

JAMES  CLAYMAN  [Clyman]. 

P.  S.  Enclosed  you  will  find  a  small  specimen  of  gold.  It  is  found  in 
all  shapes  and  sizes  up  to  twenty  pounds  weight. 

[This  letter  was  postmarked  San  Francisco,  March  16th,  1849.] 

Clyman  and  others  of  the  train  probably  yielded  to  the  temptation 
to  try  a  turn  or  two  at  gold  washing  —  his  descendants  still  possess 
some  good  sized  nuggets  that  he  found  —  and  some  members  of  the 
party  doubtless  stayed  at  the  mines,  but  Clyman  and  the  Mecombs' 
soon  made  their  way  to  Napa,  where  they  were  welcomed  by  John 
Trubody  and  hospitably  cared  for  at  his  ranch.  The  Mecombs'  finally 
settled  on  land  now  within  the  city  of  Napa,  their  ranch  house  being 
where  the  Napa  Union  High  School  now  stands.  Clyman  lived  with 
them,  assisting  in  the  work  of  laying  out  the  place,  and  courting  one  of 
the  younger  daughters,  Hannah,  who  became  his  wife. 

The  marriage  was  the  first  one  celebrated  at  Napa.  The  minister 
was  Sylvester  Woodbridge  of  the  Presbyterian  church  in  Benicia,  and 
the  date,  the  22d  of  August,  1849.  The  groom  was  57,  while  the  bride 
was  thirty  years  younger,  and  she  outlived  him  nearly  37  years.  It  is 
said  that  the  couple  bought  all  the  table  crockery  to  be  had  in  Napa  and 
San  Francisco;  also  that  they  remained  over  the  winter  with  the 
Mecombs'  and  helped  to  put  in  the  next  year's  crops. 

1''''*  If  gold  was  worth  fifteen  dollars  an  ounce  in  1848,  2  ounces  per  man,  6000 
men,  would  amount  to  180,000  dollars  per  day. 




—Courtesy  of  W.  L.  Tallman. 

Latter  Days 

JAMES  Clyman  was  well  known  in  pioneer  days  in  California  but  is 
now  nearly  forgotten.  He  was  one  of  many  old  hunters  and  trappers 
who  came  on  farther  west  after  the  flourishing  days  of  the  beaver 
trade  were  over.  There  was  George  Yount,  a  few  miles  up  the  valley, 
who  had  "settled  down"  twelve  years  before  the  gold  discovery  —  the 
first  white  man  in  the  region.  There  was  "Peg-Leg"  Smith  stumping  the 
streets  of  San  Francisco  and  Sacramento,  facetiously  campaigning  for 
Fillmore,  and  finding  the  city  ways  more  devious  than  the  trails  of  the 
Wasatch  or  the  meanderings  of  the  Gila.  There  was  Allen  "of  Mohave 
notoriety,"  Kit  Carson  at  Taos,  Jim  Beckwourth  at  his  pass  in  the 
Sierra,  Charlie  Hopper  at  Napa,  the  guide  of  the  emigrants  of  1841;  at 
Sonoma  and  Walnut  Creek,  the  Walkers,  Joel  and  Joseph  R.;  Moses 
Carson  at  Healdsburg;  Uncle  "Billy"  Gordon  on  Cache  Creek,  and  John 
Wolfskin  on  the  Putah.  Down  on  the  Kern,  Elisha  Stephens  in  a  log 
hut  floated  out  on  one  of  the  spring  floods  with  all  his  pigs  and  chickens, 
and  Alexis  Godey  had  been  "imported  to  kill  off  the  Indians."  At  the 
Pueblo  of  Los  Angeles  were  the  remains  of  Pattie's  company,  Pryor  and 
Laughlin;  at  Santa  Barbara,  Job  Dye  and  Walker's  man,  George 
Nidever,  still  pursuing  the  fast  dwindling  sea-otter;  in  Oregon,  "Bob" 
Newell,  "Squire"  Ebberts,  Ewing  Young  in  his  grave,  the  renowned  Joe 
Meek,  and  Osborne  Russell  who  had  helped  run  the  provisional  govern- 
ment and  died  in  the  California  gold  mines,  —  all  these  and  many 
more,  some  of  whom  might  have  called  the  land  theirs,  as  "Peg-leg"  did, 
"by  right  of  first  exploration  and  settlement.' 

On  March  6,  1850,  Clyman  purchased  from  William  Edgington  a 
portion  of  the  tract  that  became  his  farm  at  Napa.  This  land  had  pre- 
viously belonged  to  Salvador  Vallejo  and  formed  a  part  of  his  "Pueblo 
de  Salvador."  Soon  afterward  the  family  moved  into  Sonoma  County, 
settling  in  the  district  between  Forestsville  and  Sebastopol.  Before 
long  they  were  back  again  at  Napa  where,  on  February  10,  1855,  James 
Clyman  completed  the  purchase  of  his  ranch  —  the  property  acquired 
at  this  time  being  a  part  of  the  tract  belonging  to  his  mother-in-law. 

Sad  years  now  followed  with  the  death  of  four  of  the  five  little 
children  by  the  ravages  of  scarlet  fever.  The  first  to  be  taken  was  the 
little  seven-year-old  daughter,  Martha  Ellen;  then  James  Lambert,  a 
boy  of  eleven;  next,  one  of  the  seven-year-old  twins,  Philip  Lancaster; 
and  finally,  on  December  6,  1866,  Mary  Irene,  a  girl  of  fifteen. 

Clyman  himself  was  now  74  years  old,  carrying  on  the  work  of  a 
fruit  and  dairy  ranch,  planting  and  pruning  the  trees,  plowing  and 
harvesting,  while  Mrs.  Clyman  and  their  one  remaining  daughter,  Lydia 


Alcinda,  milked  the  cows  and  took  care  of  the  household  affairs.  To 
make  up  for  the  loss  of  their  children  they  adopted  three  foster- 
daughters —  Alice  ("Allie")  Broadhurst,  who  was  Mrs.  Clyman's  niece, 
Geneva  Gillin,  and  Edna  Wallingford. 

In  the  late  sixties  Lydia  married  Beverly  Lamar  Tallman.  Their 
children  and  grandchildren  are  Clyman's  only  living  descendants.  One 
of  these,  Mr.  Wilber  Lamar  Tallman,  still  lives  upon  the  fine  old 
Clyman  ranch,  one  mile  north  of  Napa  City,  near  the  Union  Station. 

A  little  diary  still  exists  which  was  written  by  James  Clyman  in  his 
eightieth  year.  It  shows  him  still  living  an  active  life,  working  on  his 
farm,  and  it  contains  a  bit  of  the  verse  that  he  occasionally  wrote: 

And  now  the  mists  arise 
With  slow  and  gracejul  motion 
And  shews  like  pillow  in  the  skies 
Or  island  in  the  ocean 

[Jan]  28,  [1871]  A  Rainy  moning  Took  my  Sheep  to  pas- 
ture. .  .  . 

February  the  1  My  birthday  being  the  first  day  of  80  Eightyethe 
year.  .  .  . 

2     Frosty  mornings       commenced  pruning  in  the  Orchard  .  .  . 
1 7     Frost       clear  and  warm  afternoon  Pruning  in  the  orchard  .  .  . 
[March]  3     Pleasant  and  warm      good  growing  weather      Planted 
potatoes  Peas  &  onions  beets  .  .  . 

8     commenced  Breaking  fallows  yestarday  .  .  . 

10  Finished  pruning  .  .  , 

15     finished  my  fence  around  the  garden 

[April]  9  ...  Mr  Montgomory  [R.  T.  Montgomery,  editor  of  the 
Napa  Reporter]  called  on  me  for  information  on  the  early  character  of 
California        gave  him  my  Diary  of  my  first  trip  across  the  plains  .  .  . 

11  Trimed  and  marked  my  lambs  .  .  . 

12  Finished  planting  corn  &  potatoes  .  .  . 

14  ...  Rode  out  on  the  mountain  .  .  . 
19     ...  Commenced  sharing  sheep 

26  ...  Went  to  the  Odd  fellows  Picknick  Mr  Sargent  delivered 
the  adress  which  was  done  in  oratorical  style  .  .  . 

[May]  3     ...  finished  the  cultivation  of  the  home  orchard  .  .  . 

19     ...  hawled  a  load  of  rock  for  the  foundation  of  Bam  .  .  . 

29     ...  Comenced  framing  Barn  .  .  . 

31     ...  finished  the  frame  of  Barn  .  .  . 

[June]  3  ...  went  to  the  picknick  at  the  Boggs  ranch  heard 
Mr  Ford  the  county  School  Sup*  make  an  excellent  speech  .  .  . 

12     ...  filled  all  my  barn  with  hay  three  tuns  left  .  .  . 

15  ...  Brought  my  sheep  down  to  the  home  place 

16  Clear  sold  all  our  Black  Tartaria[n  cherries] 

17  ...  gathered  Black  Beries  .  .  . 

24  ...  took  a  severe  Cold  Laid  abed  half  the  day  .  .  . 

25  ...  still  feel  seak  of  a  cold  .  .  . 


26     ...  Hauled  one  load  of  wood  .  .  . 

P'  July  .  .  .  Warm  some  wheet  being  harvested  Wind  South 
.  .  .  Finished  hailing  wood       due  Mr  Truebody  $3  "^o  .  .  . 

4  the  95  Jubille  of  our  countrys  Independance  as  nation  Went 
to  Napa       heard  the  declaration  of  Indepenance  read  .  .  . 

11  ...  gathering  early  apples  .  .  . 

12  ...  Lent  Mrs  McCombs  $200°/ 

[Aug.]    16     ...  the  camp  Meeting  still  in  Session 

[Dec]    10     ...  sowed  our  Barley  last  week  .  .  . 

He  took  little  part  in  public  affairs  as  age  drew  upon  him,  being 
content  with  his  circle  of  friends  whom  he  often  entertained  with  tales 
of  his  adventures.  He  is  remembered  as  a  bent,  weather-beaten  figure, 
often  taking  his  rifle  to  the  mountains  in  search  of  deer  or  perhaps  a 
grizzly  —  like  himself  the  last  of  his  race.  He  took  his  leisure  sitting  in 
the  sun  and  slowly  writing  out  upon  a  slate,  the  last  part  of  his  book 
of  reminiscences,  which  he  sent  to  Lyman  C.  Draper.  The  first  part  of 
this  book,  written  in  1871,  was  printed  in  the  Napa  Reporter }'^^  His 
poetry  was  written  in  the  last  ten  years  of  his  life  and  reflects  the  sweet 
serenity  of  his  old  age.  He  had  lived  close  to  Mother  Earth,  had  tasted 
her  joys  and  was  refreshed;  for  Nature  gives  back  her  recompense  to 
him  who  braves  dangers  and  toil  to  know  her  well. 

Time  begins  to  leave  her  marks  upon  him.  A  recent  accident  has 
nearly  deprived  him  of  the  sight  of  one  eye.  Wounds  received  in  his 
Indian  fights  cause  him  still  to  walk  with  a  limp.  Hunting  excursions  to 
has  favorite  "coves"  in  the  mountains  come  more  seldom. 

The  farm,^"^^  brought  by  Clyman  to  a  high  state  of  productiveness, 
is  now  managed  by  the  daughter,  Mrs.  Tallman,  who  finds  daylight 
hours  too  short  with  seven  little  children  and  the  old  couple  to  care  for. 
Visitors  come  frequently,  among  them  little  Tom  Thumb  and  his  wife, 
the  midgets,  relatives  of  the  family. 

On  the  night  of  December  27,  1881,  another  visitor  enters  and 
silently  departs  bearing  the  old  frontiersman  away,  over  new  trails,  to 
join  his  comrades  of  the  mountains  —  Ashley,  Jedediah  Smith,  Fitz- 
patrick.  Black  Harris,  Hugh  Glass,  the  Sublettes,  Andrew  Henry,  and 
Jim  Bridger,  who  has  passed  on  only  a  few  months  before. 

Pioneers  gather  beneath  the  cypresses  of  Tulocay,  where  James 
Clyman,  worn  by  the  infirmities  of  ninety  years,  is  laid  to  rest.^''"^ 

^''^  Napa  Weekly  Reporter,  March  30,  April  6,  13,  20,  27,  and  May  4  and  11, 
1872.  The  Reporter  also  printed  excerpts  from  Clyman's  diaries  in  its  issues  of 
May  17,  25,  June  1,  8,  15,  22,  July  20,  27,  and  August  3  and  10,  1872. 

1"^'  A  drawing  of  Clyman's  farm  as  it  was  about  the  time  of  his  death  appears 
in  Illustrations  of  Napa  County,  California,  Oakland:  Smith  and  Elliott,  1878. 

!■'■'  Napa  Reporter  and  Napa  Register,  December  30,  1881.  Clyman  was  a 
member  of  the  Society  of  California  Pioneers,  Napa,  Sonoma,  Lake  and  Mendo- 
cino Counties  branch,  which  he  joined  in  1876.  A  town  in  Wisconsin  was  named 
for  him  in  the  early  days.    California  has  given  him  no  memorials  of  any  kind. 

James  Clyman's  Poetry 

Our  Home 

t/  HE  winds  were  in  their  chamber  sleeping 
-*■  The  light  from  Orient  portals  peeping 

The  stars  the  lesser  ones  are  dimed  or  gone 
The  larger  ones  more  brigtly  shown 

And  silver  beams  of  earley  daylight 
Was  breaking  through  the  gloom  of  night 

The  little  birds  in  twittering  note 
Upon  the  ambient  air  did  float 

Again  more  fervent  light  behold 
The  mountain  tops  in  glittering  gold 

The  grass  the  grain  in  meadow  seen 
A  gorgeous  sight  all  clothed  in  green 

The  dewdrips  make  a  b  cautious  show 
In  bright  translucent  globes  they  glow 

All  nature  now  seems  to  combine 
To  over  flow  with  bread  and  wine 

And  fruit  of  evrey  name  and  nature 
Promise  rich  returns  in  the  future 

The  peach  the  cherry  and  the  pair 

In  fragrant  blooming  now  appear 
And  give  sweet  scent  to  passing  air 

The  bees  then  come  a  perfect  swarm 
At  noon  or  when  the  sun  shines  warm 

And  sip  the  necter  from  the  bloom 
To  fill  thier  sweetend  honey  comb 

And  now  we  hear  the  breakfast  call 
To  young  to  old  to  friend  and  all 

Now  at  the  table  take  your  seat 
A  cup  of  coffee  strong  and  sweet 

but  first  you  hear  a  fervent  blessing 
To  all  omnicient  power  adressing 

The  mighty  source  of  light 

To  guide  our  words  and  actions  right 

POETRY  245 

Through  out  the  day  now  fast  advancing 
The  glorious  sun  on  nature  glancing 

Now  while  hot  roles  surround  your  plate 
Dont  envy  either  wealth  or  state 

The  hour  of  eight  the  clock  has  told 
A  grumbling  first  then  more  Bold 

Along  the  Iron  plated  way 
That  runs  direct  from  Napa  bay 

And  if  you  notice  as  they  pass 
A  belching  forth  of  steam  and  gass 

They  come  with  raped  whirling  wheels 
The  earth  blow  both  quakes  and  reals 

The  elements  above  are  riven 

By  smoke  and  gass  are  upward  drivn 

A  heave  a  blch  of  scalding  gass 
Then  let  the  metal  monster  pass 

The  hills  along  the  east  are  seen 

Some  dark  with  brush  some  clothed  in  green 

The  sun  still  shining  bold  and  bright 
And  not  a  cloud  obscures  the  sight 

The  Lilac  now  in  purple  bloon 
A  handsome  sight  a  rich  perfume 

The  Canary  in  his  iron  cage 

Still  chants  his  love  and  sings  his  rage 

No  answering  note  no  warbling  fair 
Can  touch  his  melancholy  ear, 

O  give  me  freedom  or  a  mate 
To  save  me  from  a  lonsome  fate. 

The  sun  now  strikes  meriden  line 
The  laboring  men  come  in  to  dine 

Assembled  round  the  family  board 
A  female  blessing  now  is  heard 

And  then  the  master  carves  and  sends 
The  vians  round  from  side  to  end 


Around  the  yard  a  playjtdl  noise 
This  is  the  prattle  of  the  boys 

As  up  and  down  the  walks  they  run 
With  bursting  jroliich  noisy  fun 

Thier  work  is  play  thier  play  is  work 
And  all  is  noise  from  day  to  day 

And  infancy  is  likewise  here 
A  female  babe  demans  our  care 

Who  just  begins  to  crow  and  smile 
And  know  her  mothers  voice  the  while 

She  fills  a  space  not  very  small 
But  she  is  dear  to  nurse  and  all 

Our  Cottage  too  is  draped  anew 
And  shows  in  front  a  handsome  vew 

As  white  as  bride  trips  from  her  room 
Steps  out  to  meet  her  galant  groom 

The  plow  for  summer  crop  now  turning 
The  moistned  soil  in  early  morning 

And  soon  comes  on  the  planting  time 
For  summer  crops  of  evry  kind 

As  to  west  the  sun  inclines 

In  fervant  brightness  still  it  shines 

All  rmture  seems  to  catch  the  strea[m] 
And  kiss  and  drink  the  glancing  beam 

And  then  a  slightly  southern  breese 
Comes  chanting  through  the  orchard  trees 

And  bends  and  turns  the  growing  grain 
Like  tides  upon  the  flowing  main 

Still  lower  west  the  light  doth  glow 
And  lengthning  shawos  eastward  go 

Now  all  the  sky  in  brightest  gold 
Most  beautiful  the  light  unfold 

The  eastern  hills  to  catch  the  light 
reflected  from  etherial  hight 

You  see  the  moons  bright  cresent  form 
And  silver  tips  her  either  horn 

The  stars  now  all  are  brightly  shining 
And  with  the  moon  thier  light  combining 

The  galaxy  or  milky  way 
Across  the  zenith  makes  display 

POETRY  247 

With  stars  thick  studed  shining  bright 
A  coronet  on  brow  of  night 

Is  this  the  hour  when  lovers  meet 
Salute  each  to  each  in  accents  sweet 

And  walk  the  flowery  avanewes 
and  speak  and  tell  the  daily  new[s\ 

Perhaps  to  taake  a  walk  for  life 
United  in  one  as  man  and  wife 

And  call  the  spangled  stars  above 
As  witnesses  of  mutual  love 

This  natal  day  now  is  past 
We  hope  it  will  not  be  the  last 

Decoration  Day  1881 

Strew  flowers  oer  the  heroes  head 
Who  for  your  country  fought  &  Bled 

He  fought  for  eaqul  rights  for  all 
Let  raining  flowers  or  him  fall 

He  died  your  countrys  life  to  save 
Strew  flowers  oer  the  heroes  grave 


Acres,  Hiram,  169 

Adams,  T.  M.,  61 

Alderman,  Isaac  W.,  69,  72 

Allen,  Samuel,  58 

Allsopp,  J.  P.  C,  239 

Altgeier,  Nicholaus,  20S 

Applegate  road,  56 

Arapaho  Indians,  44 

Arikara  fight,  15-21,  41 

Arikara  village,  15,  40,  41 

Amett,  Goulding,  48 

Arther,  Captain  James  P.,  177 

Ashley,  General  William  Henry,  11-22, 

38, 39 
Astorians,  26,  38,  39,  125 
Bale,  Dr.  Edward  Turner,  171 
Bancroft  Library,  9 
Bannock  Indians,  99,  101 
Barnette,  J.  M.,  61,  72,  91-93 
Bartel,  William,  169 
Battle  of  Tippecanoe,  12 
Beckwith,  Daniel  W.,  46 
Beckwourth,  James,  42-43 
Bedwell,  William,  238 
Beers,  Alanson,  137 
Bennett,  Catherine,  179 
Bennett,  Emerson,  57-58 
Big  Kaw,  interpreter,  73 
Bighorn  Sheep,  31-32,  90 
Bigler,  Henry  W.,  238-239 
Bissonette,  fur  trader,  60,  229 
Black,  W.  L.,  72 
Black  Hawk  War,  11 
Black  Hills  of  South  Dakota,  24-26 
Blakely,  1844  emigrant,  72 
Boggs,  Lilbum  W.,  228-230 
Bowen,  John,  49,  237 
Boyd,  1844  emigrant,  72 
Bradley,  Thomas  Wesley,  238 
Branch,  a  trapper  with  Ashley,  31,  37 
Bridger,  James,  38,  92,  223,  243 
Broadhurst,  Alice,  242 
Brown,  John  Henry,  173 
Brown,  Martin,  169 
Browne,  Jesse  B.,  47 
Browning,  buried  on  the  plains,  76 
Buchanan,  immigrant  from  Oregon,  169 
Buffalo,  28,  29-30,  32,  35,  95,  226-227 
Burnett,  Ellsworth,  murder  of,  49-50 
Burnett,  Peter  H.,  104 
Calapooya  Indians,  156 
California,   travels   in   and   descriptions 

of,  in  1845,  168-206 
Carpenter,  Benjamin,  169 
Carpenter,  Lemuel  J.,  153 
Charbonneau,  Toussaint,  38,  41 
Chase,  S.  U.,  169 
Cheyeime  Indians,  27 
Childers,  M.  R.,  169 
Chiles,  Joseph  B.,  238,  239 
Chiles,  W.  G.,  238 
Clark,  William,  72 
Claymore,  Antoine,  44 
Claymore,  Basil,  44 
Clement,  44 
Clermo,  Louis,  44 

Clyman,  Colonel  James;  his  writings, 
9-10;  personal  characteristics,  10,  50, 
51,  243;  early  life  of,  11-12;  adven- 
tures on  the  Missouri  River,  13-22 ; 
over  South  Pass  with  Jedediah 
Smith,  22-34;  long  journey  afoot 
down  the  Platte,  35-38;  adventures 
in  the  Rockies,  1824-27,  43-46;  fight 
with  the  Arapaho,  44;  circumnavi- 
gates Great  Salt  Lake,  45 ;  escape 
from  the  Blackfeet,  45-46;  in  the 
Black  Hawk  War,  46-47;  in  business 
in  Illinois,  46-47;  pioneering  in  Wis- 
consin, 48-51;  appointed  Colonel, 
SO;  surveyor  in  Illinois,  51;  joins 
overland  emigrants  in  1844,  51-53; 
his  overland  journal  to  Oregon  and 
CaUfomia,  59-167 ;  writes  descrip- 
tion of  Oregon  for  Elijah  White, 
142-144;  acts  as  White's  agent  in 
California,  144,  177,  184;  his  "Ad- 
dress to  Mount  Hood,"  152 ;  Cap- 
tain of  emigrants  from  Oregon  to 
California,  153-169;  travels  in  Cali- 
fornia in  1845-46,  170-205;  eastward 
across  the  Sierra,  206-212;  across  the 
plains  to  Missouri,  212-235;  to  Cali- 
fornia in  '48,  237-240;  latter  days, 
241-243;  his  poetry,  244-247;  letter 
from  placers,  240;  marriage,  240; 
death,  243 

Clyman,  Hannah,  238,  240,  241 

Cyman,  James  Lambert,  241 

Clyman,  John,  46 

Clyman,  Lancaster,  46,  115 

Clyman,  Lydia  Alcinda,  241 

Clyman,  Martha  Ellen,  241 

Clyman,  Mary  Irene,  241 

Clyman,  Philip  Lancaster,  241 

Cochran,  Thomas,  169 

Colter,  John,  40 

Condor,  182,  183 

Cook,  Grove,  144-146 

Cordel,  1844  emigrant,  72 

Cornwall,  Pierre  B.,  239 

Crisman,  Joel,  61,  72 

Crisman,  S.,  61 

Crow  Indians,  27-29,  42 

Cummings,  Major  Richard,  65,  67-68 

Davis,  Joseph  H.,  169 

Dement,  William  C,  102 

Devenport,  Alfred,  72 

Dewel,  Samuel,  238 

Dodge,  Major  Henry,  47,  50-51 

Donner  Party,  222-229 

Dougherty,  John,  41 

Dougherty,  N.  R.,  72 

Draper  Collection,  9,  13,  243 

Duncan,  immigrant  from  Oregon  to 
California,  169 

Durand,  St.  Vram,  169 

Early,  Captain  Jacob  M.,  47 

Ebberts,  George  W.,  57 

Eddie,  Thomas,  16,  22,  38,  44 

Edgington,  William,  241 

Ehrman,  Sidney  M.,  10 

Ellig,  John,  169 

Emigrants  of  1844,  51-73 

Emigrants  of  1846,  227-236 

Emigrants  of  1848, 237-240 

Evans,  1844  emigrant,  72 

Everhart,  L.,  61,  ISI,  169 

Fallon,  William  O.,  59 

Farnham,  T.  J.,  55,  178 

Fitzpatrick,  Thomas,  11,  22,  34,  37-39, 
44,  89,  90 

Ford,  Colonel  Nathaniel,  52,  61,  64,  66, 

Fort  Atkinson,  37 

Fort  Boise,  101,125 

Fort  Bridger,  94,  223-224 

Fort  Hall,  96-97, 123 

Fort  Kiowa,  22 

Fort  Laramie,  83, 84 

Fort  Sutter,  168, 173 

Frazer,  Abner,  160,  169 

Frazer,  William,  169 

Fremont,  Captain  John  Charles,  193, 
198-201,  212;  his  trail  across  the 
Salt  Lake  Desert,  217-220,  236 

Fremont  Peak,  28 

Flint,  Isaac  A.,  194 

Fort  Platte,  83,  84 

Galusha,  C.  S.,  46 

Gardner,  John  S.,  18 

Gibson,  Isaac  N.,  72,  105 

Gibson,  Marion,  169 

Gibson,  Reed,  15-18 

Gillespie,  John,  72 

Gilliam,  General  Cornelius,  52,  70,  79, 

Gillin,  Geneva,  241 

Gilmore,  Madison,  104 

Glass,  Hugh,  18,  22,  38,  43 

Godey,  Alexis,  241 

Goff,  David,  73 

Goff  family,  73 

Gordon,  WUliam,  170,  172,  183,  203-204 

Graham,  Isaac,  178-179 

Great  Salt  Lake,  Qyman  circumnavi- 
gates, 45,  220 

Greenwood,  Britain,  197 

Greenwood,  Caleb,  212,  233 

Greenwood  boys,  233 

Grimsley,  Thornton,  54 

Grizzly  Bear,  25,  181,  182,  183,  188-191 

Hamilton,  Colonel  William  S.,  11 

Hardy,  Thomas,  204 

Hargrave,  William,  171 

Harper,  James,  72 

Harris,  Moses,  26,  53-59,  71,  92,  93,  150 

Hastings'  Cut-off,  212,  217-220 

Hastings,  Lansing  W.,  168,  193,  205, 
212-224,  229,  236 

Hayes,  James,  169 

Hedding,  Elijah,  144-148,  177,  184 

Henry,  Andrew,  19,  38,  40 

Hensley,  Samuel  ,239 

Hewett,  Adam,  169 

Hibbler,  George,  169 

Hillhouse,  J.,  61 

Hinman,  Alanson,  78 

Hitchcock,  1844  immigrant  to  Califor- 
nia, 85 

Holmes,  Captain  Reuben,  39-43 

Hopper,  Charles,  241 

Houck,  James,  169 

Howard,  1844  emigrant,  72 

Hudson,  Martin,  238 

Hudson's  Bay  Company,  96-97,  112, 
123,  127,  128,  130,  131 

Hudspeth,  James  M.,  212 

Hull,  Captain  Joseph  B.,  177 

Humphrey,  Norris,  72 

Hunt,  James,  72 

Hunt,  Wilson  P.,  45,  125 

Hunter,  John,  38 

Huntington  Library,  9 

Immel- Jones  Massacre,  38 

Independence  Rock,  37,  89 

Jackson,  John  H.  P.,  72 

Jackson,  John  R.,  72 

Johnson,  Daniel,  72 

Johnson,  James,  72 

Johnson,  William,  205 

Kimball,  Hazen,  239 

Kaw  Indians,  62-67,  73 

Keemle,  Colonel  Charles,  38,  42 

Kelsey,  Benjamin,  171,  181 

Kelsey,  Mrs.  Benjamin,  171 

Ketchum,  dies  on  Oregon  trail,  74 

Keyes,  Mrs.  Sarah,  her  grave,  233 

Keyser,  Sebastian,  205 

Kilbourn,  Byron,  48 

Klickatat  Indians,  149,  150,  156 

Knight,  William,  166,  204 

La  Barge,  trapper  killed  on  Green 
River,  44,  225 

Larkin,  Thomas  O.,  letter  to  Elijah 
White  regarding  the  Hedding  Mur- 
der, 147-148;  177,  184 

Larrisson,  Jack,  19 

Leavenworth,  Colonel  Henry  ,19-22 

Lee,  Barton  B.,  72 

Lee,  Rev.  Jason,  137 

Lenoir,  immigrant  from  Oregon,  169 

Lewis,  Reuben,  41 

Libbey,  Captain  Elliott,  184 

Lichtenstein,  Franz,  169 

Lincoln,  Abraham,  11,  47 

Lisa,  Manuel,  39-41 

Livermore,  Robert,  174 

McCarver,  General  M.  M.,  107 

McCombs,  see  Mecombs 

McGillycuddy,  Dr.  V.  T.,  26 

McKay,  Joseph  William,  148 

McKinley,  J.,  61 

McKissick,  blind  emigrant,  229,  232 

McLaughlin,  John,  112,  139,  150 

McMahon,  Captain  Green,  73,  159,  160 

Manning  brothers,  117 

Marshall,  James  Wilson,  169 

Martinez,  Ignacio,  179 

Mary's  Lake,  211 

Mecombs  family,  237-238 

Mecombs,  Hannah  (Mrs.  James  Cly- 
man),  238,  240,  241 

Meek,  Stephen  H.  L.,  55 

Milwaukee,  early  days  in,  48-51 

Minto,  John,  104 

Missouri  Fur  Company,  20 

Monterey,  177-178 

Montgomery,  Richard  Tremaine,  9,  13, 

Morin,  Judge,  229-230 

Morin,  L.,  61,  69,  73 

Mormon  Battalion,  brings  east  news  of 
gold  discovery,  238-239 

Mormon  pioneers,  57,  230 

Morrison,  Captain  of  emigrants,  92 

Moss,  Sydney  W.,  57 

Mulkey,  J.  L.,  72 

Neal  family,  61 

Nesmith,  Judge  James  W.,  138 

Nevada,  in  1846,  210-218 

Newell,  Robert,  138 

Nez  Perces  Indians,  99, 101, 103 

Northgrave,  William,  169 

Ogdens  Lake,  212 

OU  springs,  29 

Olcott,  Egbert  {alias  Texas  Smith),  64 

Oregon,  description,  127-133,  143-144 

Oregon  Trail,  51-133 

Overland  emigrants  of  1844,  51-133 

Owens  family,  160, 169 

Owless,  Ruel,  72 

Packwood,  Samuel,  71 

Packwood,  William,  71 

Page,  Captain  Hugh  N,,  184 

Pawnee  Indians,  76,  229-231 

Payne,  Mrs.,  and  family,  169 

Payne,  R.  K.,  169 

Perin,  M.  R.,  72 

Perkey,  J.  D.,  71,  169 

Perkins  family,  72 

Perkins,  Rev.  H.  K.  W.,  108 

Peupeumoxox,  WaUawalla  chief,  144 

Pilcher,  Major  Joshua,  20 

Pomeroy,  Walter,  116 

Potts,  John,  40 

Priest,  1844  emigrant,  72 

Provot,  Etienne,  38 

Reading,  Major  Pierson  B.,  163 

Reed,  James  Frazier,  229 

Reid,  Jacob,  140 

Riley,  Captain  Bennett,  21,  37 

Robb,  John  S.,  38 

Robidoux,  Antoine,  94 

Robinson,  Benjamin  M.,  61,  69,  73 

Rolin  (=L.  L.  Rowland?),  1844  emi- 
grant, 72 

Rose,  Edward,  IS,  25,  27,  38-43 

Ross,  Hiram  J.,  48,  113,  239 

Rowland,  Levi  B.,  75 

Russell,  Osborne,  239 

San  Francisco  in  1845, 184-185 

San  Jose  Mission,  174 

San  Juan  Bautista  Mission,  175 

Schooner  Star  of  the  West,  wreck  of, 

Scott,  Captain  Levi,  56,  92 

Sears,  Franklin,  160,  163,  165,  169 

Semple,  Robert,  193 

SeweUel,  111 

Shaw,  captain  of  emigrants,  92 
Shawnee  Indians,  49-50,  60 
Shoshone  Indians,  33-34,  94-95 
Sierra  Nevada,  eastward  across,  in  1846, 

Sioux  Indians,  19-22,  23-24,  42,  83 
Sipp,  immigrant  from  Oregon,  169 
Siskadee  River,  11,  42,  93,  226 
Smith,  Anderson,  104 
Smith,  Andrew,  137 
Smith,  Jedediah,  11,  18,  19,  22-34,  37- 

39,  41,  42,  90 
Smith,  Noyes,  72 
Smith,  "Peg-leg,"  241 
Smith,  William,  72 
Snooks,  P.,  61,  62 
South  Pass,  11,  33,  38-39 
Spalding,  Rev.  H.  H.,  105 
Starr,  Elisha,  63 
Stephens,  Aaron,  15 
Stephens,  Elisha,  53,  72,  240 
Stockton,  Commodore  Robert  Field,  57 
Stone,  trapper  with  Ashley,  37,  38 
Sublette,  William  L.,  22,  29-30,  32,  38, 

53,  54,  70,  74,  76,  77,  89 
Sumner,  Owen,  Jr.,  166 
Sumner,  Owen,  Sr.,  169,  205 
Sunol,  Antonio  Maria,  174 
Sutter,   General  John   Augustus,   letter 

regarding   Hedding   affair,    145-146; 

letter  and  list  of  Oregon  immigrants, 

Sweet  Lake,  96 

Tallman,  Rev.  Beverly  Lamar,  242 
Tallman,  Lydia  Alcinda,  13,  33,  242 
TaUman,  Wilber  Lamar,  9 
Tasso  affair,  184 
Thorp,  John,  52 
Thorp,  Lindsey,  169 
The  Prairie  Flower,  57-58 
Thumb,  Tom,  the  midget,  243 
Townsend,  Dr.  John,  177 
Townsend-Murphy  party,  53 
Treat  and  Blackman,  12 
Trubody,  Josiah,  243 
Umpqua  Indians,  156 
Utah,  m  1846,  219-222 
Vallejo,    General    Mariano    Guadalupe, 

Vallejo,  Captain  Salvador,  202 
Wair,  J.  M.,  112,  115,  230 
Waldo,  Daniel,  141-142 
Walker,  James  T.,  239 
Walker,  Joel,  104,  137,  153 
Walker,  Joseph  R.,  153 
Walker,  Mary  Young,  153 
Walker,  Robert,  61 
Walker,  Samuel,  61 
WaUawalla  Indians,  103,  105,   144-148, 

177, 184 
Waller,  Alvan  F.,  108 
Wallingford,  Edna,  242 
War  of  1812,  12 
Wambaugh,  M.  M.,  71 
Warner,  John  J.,  153 
Washington,  President  George,  11 

Washoe  Indians,  209-211  Williamson,  Henry,  72 

Waters,  James,  102,  104  Winnebago  Indians,  47 

Weber,  Charles  M.,  179  Wisconsin  Historical  Society,  9 

Weer,  WUliam,  72  WolfskiU,  John,  166-167,  170,  202,  203 

Welch,  James,  72  WolfskiU,  William,  153 

White,  Elijah,  55,  133,  137,  142,  150,  177      Wood,  Henry,  141 

Whitman,  Marcus,  54,  78,  lOS                      Woodbridge,  Sylvester,  240 

Williams,  Ezekiel,  40  Wyeth,  Nathaniel,  54 

Williams,  Poe,  72  Yount,  George  C,  171,  180,  201 


p.  22,  4th  line  from  bottom  of  page,  change  [White  River?]  to  [Medi- 
cine Creek]. 

p.  33,  22d  line,  add  [March]  after  February. 

p.  43,  6th  line,  change  jord  to  jort. 

p.  45,  3d  paragraph,  1st  line,  change  at  Napa  to  in  the  Huntington 

p.  98,  footnote,  change  p.  333  to  p.  85. 

p.  112,  15th  line,  change  /.  W,  Wair  to  /.  M.  Wair. 

p.  144,  omit  last  two  lines  of  first  paragraph  of  footnote  117  and  add 
Cf.  also  p.  177. 

p.  221,  footnote  159,  substitute  p.  45  for  Calij.  Hist.  Soc.  Quarterly, 
vol.  4,  p.  140. 

p.  230,  4th  paragraph,  2d  line,  omit  [Weir].